Have you met the interns yet? They're pretty amazing. The following post is from Becca Pugh, our happy-go-lucky intern from Pittsburgh.
Habits greatly influence our relationship with God, and our emotional and mental health.
The way we work and take care of ourselves has a direct impact on faith because it affects our perspective on God, life and ourselves.
The amount of sleep we get affects our mood, emotions, stamina, and productivity. When we don’t get enough sleep, we ignore a large part of our calling as God’s children. The psalmist writes in Psalm 127: “It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for He gives to His beloved sleep.” The psalmist writes also in Psalm 23: “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” Our bodies are designed to spend one-third of their existence in suspended consciousness, with a relatively inactive nervous system, eyes closed and postural muscles relaxed. God designed us that way. Sleep reminds us that we are limited.
When I don’t get enough sleep, it’s easier for me to react to things instead of responding. If I make a mistake on a project, I immediately feel like a total failure and become overly anxious about what people think of me. It’s easier for me to panic instead of turning to God because my ability to process things is weaker than when I’m functioning on a full night’s sleep. When I’m run down and short on sleep, it’s easy for me to forget who I am in Christ: loved and covered in grace.
Maybe you’re like me; you love sleep and wish you got more of it, but it seems like you end up in the library at 10:00pm, coffee in hand, starting that ten-pager due the next day on a regular basis. If you’re like me, you board the train to Procrastination Station when you have work to do. You stay there for several hours watching YouTube videos, stalking people on Facebook you’ve never even met before, calling your best friend who you haven’t talked to in three months (but it’s imperative that you talk to her the same day you have to write a twenty page paper), eating even though you’re not hungry, and reading about fifty BuzzFeed articles almost unconsciously. Five hours later, you panic and grab a taxi back to reality. Your paper is still due tomorrow, and you still haven’t written any of it.
I usually procrastinate because of an underlying fear of failure. The more daunting a project is, the more I procrastinate. The problem with this is that I end up exchanging my trust in God for fear. When I procrastinate, I am letting fear take hold of me. And how many times does God tell us not to fear? A lot of times, that’s how many (somewhere in the ballpark of 300 I believe). Jesus says not to be anxious for anything (Matthew 6:25-34). The added problem of procrastination becoming a habit is that I procrastinate even when I’m not afraid of failing. Then I have become a slave to it. I can’t even start a project on time that I know I’ll be good at. When I procrastinate, it feels like freedom because I’m controlling my time, but it actually takes me captive.
I’ve heard it said that the only way to break bad habits is to begin good ones. The good habits will create change, and replace the bad habits. A good place to start is getting enough sleep no matter what.