I do know that I am a rich man. Some say our house is too small, but it’s just right for my girl and me. In the last 30 days we’ve gotten about 30” of rain. Our roof doesn’t leak and we get to stay dry inside. If it gets too hot, we have an air conditioner to cool us off. If we get too cold, we got us a heater. Our house is about 1200 square feet. Sara came by and showed Sherry and me some pictures she took while visiting her sponsored child in the Philippines. Our dining room is bigger than most of those people’s houses.
We cook our food on a good stove, or maybe in the microwave, or that big toaster oven. And we have a refrigerator to keep our food in. We own a washer and dryer, a dishwasher, a bathtub and a water heater. We have a bath and a half, and when we flip the switch, the lights come on. How could I ever complain or ask for more? And, oh my goodness! They are all getting kind of old, but they are paid for and they run well.
And the same thing is true when it comes to the bed we sleep in. Now, we don’t have one of those adjustable, memory foam, water type mattresses. I don’t even remember what brand it is. All I know is that we sleep well in it and we don’t wake up with aches and pains from it. We have a headboard, but not a footboard.
I hear about what folks sometimes have to contend with at night, so I gotta tell you, our sleep is good. We never go to sleep with the fear that somebody will break in to steal, kill, or destroy. We have never laid our head on the pillow with the sound of gunfire in our ears. We’ve never been awakened in the night, nor at dawn by gunfire. We have some neighbors who worry us, but I know that our little complaints are nothing compared to what some folks face everyday. My girl and I have never been drunk or high, and we’re too old to start now. I’ve heard about the terrors of living in the house with someone who is a drunk or an addict. But we lay down to sleep without even having to give a thought to such worries. Solomon said it’s better to live on the corner of a rooftop in peace, than to live with a cranky woman in a mansion. I think the same thing applies to a cranky man. When Sherry & I were younger we thought there were things to argue about, but the older we’ve gotten, the less we can think of to argue about. It sure feels good to be saying kind words to each other as we drift off to sleep.
I hear that sin is a sleep stealer. When a person has some shady business going, he is always having to look over his shoulder. When we’re asleep, we’re defenseless. If a man has enough money, he can pay someone to stand guard over him while he sleeps. Even the toughest of guys are scared to go to sleep if they know they are doing things that are liable to get them hurt or killed. And if a bad man can’t afford a bodyguard, then he’s doomed to fitful, broken sleep. And it definitely can’t be called rest. I have neglected some people and have been mean to others. It stole my sleep until I repented.
There’s something about sleeping in a tent that I love. Maybe it is something in my nature that goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. I don’t want to sleep on the ground and get bitten by mosquitoes all night, but I want to be close to the ground. We are of the earth. We were made from it. I don’t want to get rained on, but I like to hear it on my tent and know that I’m just inches from it. I like to sleep among the animals and wake up every now and then to hear the nocturnal ones moving around. And then to have a mocking bird let me know when it’s time to wake up – that feels good.
For those of us who are following Jesus, when we get up out of this world, He doesn’t say we died, He says we have fallen asleep. You know, I’ve seen some people who were asleep, and as God is my witness, they looked like they were dead. They weren’t snoring or tossing around, and I had to listen close to see if I could hear them breathing. That’s the way it is when Jesus’ people leave here. From all appearances, it looks like the end for us. It looks like we’re dead. We are still alive: we just moved on to the next life. At that point we’re no longer following after Jesus; we have arrived at home. And waking up in heaven makes this life look like just a dream.
Makin’ sawdust & Diggin’ the music