Tips for Insomniacs

Sorry to disappoint you if you were expecting some advice about overcoming insomnia. The title was actually the heading of a recent article in a newspaper, which unlike this post actually did give some useful tips. But it ended up with these words:

Hearing this advice and nodding is rather different to putting it into practice.

I will ignore one of my bête noires (different to) and just be grateful that practice wasn’t spelt with an s.
But the message is very valid. We will all be familiar with it. The world is full of good advice, but how many people heed it? Global warming: no shortage of news items dealing with either the causes, the threats to human life or the remedies. But how much of the necessary changes in lifestyle have been (or will be) put into practice? And a rhetorical question – how much are you personally doing to improve the environment? If like me it’s not very much, it’s not because we haven’t heard the advice and the warnings. We’re all guilty of nodding and then moving on to something more interesting.

Our generation is no different from previous ones.
Tam O’Shanter in Robert Burns’ eponymous poem was not the ideal husband, to put it mildly. But his shortcomings were not from lack of advice, but rather from not putting it into practice:

Ah, gentle dames! it gars me greet,
o think how mony counsels sweet,
How mony lengthen’d sage advices,
The husband frae the wife despises!

Many centuries earlier, Jesus had said:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27

The recent floods in Germany and China have tragically highlighted that buildings which seem secure are not necessarily so. I hope that none of our houses suffers the same fate. But I also sincerely hope that none of our spiritual houses is built on sand, but on sure foundations that can withstand the challenges which present themselves. That’s one reason why in normal times we meet together, to encourage us to put into practice what we know we should do. And that, as we all know, is the hard part.

So no more words. You’ll have heard plenty about leading a life acceptable to God. What we must all do is put the advice we have heard into practice.

But if you’re still looking for a remedy for sleeplessness, try the old fashioned way of counting the sheep in this video clip:


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