Sleep, Play and Worship

Sleep, Play and Worship

November 09, 2012
Written by Daniel Hazard

Psalm 127:2

"It is pointless that you get up early and stay up late; eating the bread of anxious toil because God gives sleep to those he loves."

Reflection by Anthony B. Robinson

Sleep: what a great gift God has given us! What a good plan God had in creating us to need sleep.

Question: What do sleep, play and worship have in common?

Answer:  All three are, at least potentially, powerfully healing.

At their best, all three get us out of our heads, out of our monkey minds, out of the constant fretting, judging, scheming, and calculating. Freeing us from "anxious toil," of which there is just way too much.

In all three we may, if we are lucky, lose ourselves. We may get over ourselves and our anxiety, judging, worrying and comparing - and so experience desperately-needed healing.

We sleep, deep, dead and blessed, letting God be God for us. What a blessing is a good night's sleep. What does it say about us and our world that today so many suffer from sleep disorders? Way too much anxiety.

We play, forgetting ourselves in the delight of singing in a band or choir, sailing a kite in the wind, or running to the flying ball. Have you taken time to play lately? Do you still know how to play?

So too worship when it works, moves us into the depths of God and our own depths. We are (as Wesley wrote and as we sing) "lost in wonder, love and praise." Oh, to be so lost!

All three - sleep, play and worship - are such powerful and needed balms for the wounded human spirit. Moreover, all three are God's good gifts to us, given freely, without money or price. Isn't God just amazing?


God, you really have provided for us. Grant us grace to receive your good gifts of sleep, play and worship and so be healed. Amen.

About the Author
Anthony B. Robinson, a United Church of Christ minister, is a speaker, teacher and writer. His newest book is Called to Lead: Paul's Letters to Timothy for a New Day, and he is also the author of the just-published Book of Exodus: A God is still speaking Bible Study. Read his weekly reflections on the current lectionary texts at by clicking on Weekly Reading.

Click to order Hark! Advent Devotionals 2012 from the Stillspeaking Writers' Group.

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