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Friday, February 4, 2011

No Rest for the Wicked

Isaiah 57:20-21 "But the wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud. 'There is no peace,' says my God, 'for the wicked.'"

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have insomnia? Not just for a night, but for weeks, months, years on end? To try over and over and over again to turn off your brain after a long day, only to find the switch stuck in the "on" position?

I've been researching characters afflicted with insomnia recently, and it's amazing the correlation between sleep and a clear conscience—and conversely, between lack of sleep and a guilty conscience. There must be something in the science of guilt, the chemical reaction of the brain, that is tied to sleep. It's times like this I wish I was a doctor (specifically a neurosurgeon) so I could better explain, with all the proper terms and everything, what I am trying to say. But you get the idea. Somewhere inside our minds, there is a spark between neurons. When we are innocent, that spark functions as normal, off and on in perfect, daily cycles (circadium rhythms), and we sleep like little lambs. (Take small children or animals—such as my adorable kitten Blake, pictured above—as an example, their bodies limp as overcooked spaghetti, their mouths hanging open in oblivious, serene breathing.) When we are guilty, there is a continous spark... and no true rest. The neurons keep firing, day and night.

That's all my metaphorical interpretation, of course, and it probably has no bearing on the actual psycho-biological reality. But for some reason, my mind continues to be fascinated by this idea, this correlation between rest and righteousness.

They say there is no rest for the weary... or for the wicked. Perhaps because they are often one and the same. The weary—at least those weary with guilt—do not deserve rest.

By that rule, none of us deserves rest. And in truth, none of us gains it, save through surrender to one man, to He who said, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest."

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