Now I lay me down to sleep
My gym sends me tips for exercise and healthy lifestyle choices and the last email I received was entitled The Best Way to End the Day: 5 Things to Do Before You Sleep. The suggestions were good, but it made me think what advice God’s manual had on each of the items. I quote from my gym’s email:
You know that moment between going to bed and falling asleep? Some watch movies, read a book, force their eyes to close, plan and worry about tomorrow, or think about the things they had to do today, but didn’t manage to.
It’s a period of time that’s important for your personal development, whether you realize it or not. It’s as important as your morning routine. A day that has started well should also end well. The way to do it is pretty simple and benefits are amazing.
So I’ve listed the trainer’s bullet points followed by scripture.
1. Let go. In order to be ready for the next day with all its opportunities, challenges and surprises, you’ll need to let go of what was today. Let go of all the things you did, didn’t do, forgot to do and failed to do. Breathe deeply and let things be as they are now. Let go of all your disappointments, little arguments, people that annoyed you, doubts, negative thoughts, judgments and comparisons.
Philippians 3:12-14 …but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.
2. Accept. Accept yourself for who you are, and things for the way they turned out to be. Understand that everything is perfect just the way it is and things are just fine. You don’t need to worry, plan, take control or fear. Realize that you did your best.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
3. Be optimistic. Look forward to tomorrow, but don’t plan it in detail so that you don’t fall into the trap of trying to control events too much. Just be sure that tomorrow is going to be amazing and new and exciting things are waiting for you.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
4. Be grateful. Be thankful for this day. It is a gift. Appreciate all the changes you had, the nice meals, the opportunity to be with your loved ones, to be in your comfortable place and do things you love. Not everyone has all of this. Notice it and be grateful.
Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
5. Go to sleep in peace. Lock around in the darkness. Breathe deeply a couple of times. Hear the silence, empty your mind and concentrate on your breathing. It’s a kind of meditative state. Your body is at ease, you have no thoughts, needs or desires to distract you. You feel great right now, and nothing needs to change. This is the best way to end the day – no matter how bad or good it was.
Psalm 3:5 I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.
Case in point, in all of these our Lord had breathed the answers in His word, even before there was a question.
Lord, thank you for your immense love that carries me into each day and remains with me each night.