They (the "experts", whoever they are) say that when you can't sleep you should do anything but watch the clock. To watch the clock, these experts say, will only cause you to panic as you watch the night dwindle away, which will in turn cause more sleeplessness.
I've prayed. I've read. I've watched seven or more episodes of Grey's Anatomy in one night. I've taken Benadryl, or Melatonin. I've had a glass of wine or warm milk before bed. I've given up my afternoon cup of coffee. I've moved to the couch. But still I do not sleep.
Oh, I fall asleep, but as soon as the slightest thing jars me, I'm awake, and likely for good. Something must be troubling me and at least if I were anxious about something, I could tell someone. But I'm not. I'm just awake. Just watching the minutes tick by, thinking I should probably do something productive, but knowing I'm too tired to do it.
Somewhere, my heart must be breaking for someone or some thing, and this is how my body is responding. I just wish that I knew who or what was causing the heartbreak.
"Graceland" is the name of my favorite song and album. It's by Paul Simon, but more importantly, it's what "home" sounds and feels like to me. We always listened to this album as we traveled from my home in Tennessee to my parents' childhood homes in Florida. But today, it's also a pretty good snapshot of my theology. Somewhere I really believe that the Christian journey is all about a wild trip to Grace-land. As I see it, Grace-land is the place where God is waiting to meet even us–with all the baggage and brokeness that we tote with us. Grace-land is the place where we will be received with open arms, even though our attempts at “getting it right” have been miserable failures at best. But, I think, every step we take is a step on the journey to Graceland.