Years ago, the ancient Greeks built Sleep Temples.

This morning, I read 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.”

I sometimes begrudge the need to sleep. It feels like an interruption, a waste of time. Weariness is frustrating.

But is this the right way to view sleep?

Even in Eden, there was sleep. God himself rested on the seventh day. One day, while Adam slept, God created woman. Adam woke to find himself no longer alone. Sleep and rest were patterns in creation from the beginning – a daily ritual and liturgy.

Even now, with all our modern innovations, we still need to sleep.

I cease from my work. I turn off the light, and darkness drifts down like mist. I grow still, and listen to breath flow through my body. I feel weak and weary. I remember that my body and mind are limited. The quiet voice of humility sings in my ear. I lie parallel to the earth, face toward the stars, just as I will one day when I am laid to rest within the earth. My arms and legs spread like roots of trees. I remember that this is just one moment in the great span of eternity.

And in this small moment I whisper, like a child, “Be with me, Lord.” And hear his voice, “I am with you always.”