Joyful Insomnia

Well, it has happened! For most schools here in the States, the first day has come and gone. Some are still anticipating that first day, and it will soon come. In conversations with people affected by this glorious event I have heard a common theme. "My kids could hardly sleep, they were so excited about the first day back to school." It's what I have called Joyful Insomnia. You have definitely been affected by this giddy malady. The day before your wedding, Christmas Eve, in anticipation of vacation. There you were, perfectly grown up, mature, within yourself; and as giddy as a school child, unable to sleep. Your heart was racing, your mind reeling, the room alive with possibilities for the coming day. The excitement of what was to soon develop kept you wide awake for hours when you knew you should be fast asleep. Yet the new day does not bring complaints of little sleep, but instead a full burst of energy for the exciting day ahead. Ah, if only every day could be one of those days! I must confess at this point that too many days for me are the opposite of that experience - plenty of sleep and yet feeling sluggish and uninspired by the tasks of the new day. Perhaps you could testify to the same. It seems as life wears on it wears us down to the humdrum activity of all the dailyness of responsibilities that mount with the passing years and the growing of careers, families and larger life. How do we turn this around?

I would suggest that the only hope to fill our lives with regular experiences of Joyful Insomnia is to engage the adventure of life on life with others and Jesus. What gets my heart racing each day, and keeps me awake into the night, is the anticipation of the work of God in my life and the lives of others with whom I will share life with that day. Walking through life with the unpredictabilities of other people and a God who cannot be contained by my plans brings an overwhelming joy to the paces of life that I am called to. As I lay my head on my pillow at night, there are times when God so fills me with exuberant anticipation of the day ahead that I spend the next several hours in Joyful Insomnia. Let's talk about breaking the cycle of monotony that marks too much of life and how we can once more allow God to bring us to this place of joy. I know I want more of it. And I believe that God wants to infuse us with more of his joy for each new day. Let's learn together how to join the ranks of the Joyful Insomniacs - anticipating the joy-filled rhythm of God's day.


  1. COOL! .. I loved it! Keep writing!

    I think another aspect of discovering the Joyful Insomnia is courageously standing in faith of God's immeasurable glory and faithfulness that we step out far beyond our normal selves and, as Hannah Hurnard put it, "step into the great abyss" of pursuing great things that God puts on our hearts.

    When we see him doing things that are unexpected - and totally beyond any of our efforts and plans - THEN we glimpse the discovery of the greatness of HIM - far beyond our thoughts, plans, and ways.

    I can see in you the excitement of that discovery ... and the insatiable desire to see Him doing more by stepping even farther into the unknown abyss and discovering anew - over and over - that HE is great and faithful!!

    Thanks! Great writing!


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