Oh, the frustration within the tired mind.
The environment, diet, chemical balance within the brain and body, sleep deprivation, physical fatigue, caffeine consumption, thought processes and patterns. Medications. Drugs. Poisons. So many things beat us down. The energy that we need in order to respond to stimuli is absent, making it a bit harder to first consider those things that we would normally exude when well-rested. We are groggy, short-tempered and unfortunately, very rude at times. We spout off, say things that we may later regret or forget and, worst case scenario, pay a price for.
Bridling the tongue. Self-control. Responding, instead of reacting. These things have not always been an easy task for me, especially when tired. I’ve jokingly told people that ‘I didn’t sleep for a good ten years of my life.’ Although greatly exaggerated, there is a lot of truth to it. There were a number of years that were filled with so many of the things that I was, unmindfully, allowing in. Poor diet. Tons of caffeine. The buffet of illegal drugs, mixed with the drugs that my doctor had prescribed as he was totally unaware of my substance abuse. These harmful combinations of legal and illegal drugs, I later learned, had many harmful effects on my mind and body. The anxiety and depression. The lack of cognitive skills. The influence of the rage and anger that stemmed from the underlying issues, not yet dealt with. All of these things, contributing to the complete mess I had become. It all had me lying awake for a great amount of time within that decade. As a result, I would become the groggy, short-tempered and very rude guy. I was not taking care of myself, but back then, I did not see the self-harm. I didn’t see the consequences for the actions I was choosing. My mental and physical reality was just the “norm,” and the anger was justifiable. It was just, “how the world had made me.” That reasoning, within my fatigued, exhausted, glazed and disoriented mind and body, was the PERFECT OPPORTUNITY for the devil to work within me.
The trickle-down effect of the choices that I was making, within the ignorance of sin unnoticed, began to take hold of my everyday life. I was losing touch with all of those things that the Lord was longing for me to have. But, at the current time, the word “Lord” meant nothing, and the thought of such a thing was only something found within fantasies.
It seems to me that a specific time of the first real encounter I had with the mysterious presence of a higher power, how I would have described it when I had felt that powerful heat and wind within a time of prayer, and ‘prayer’ being defined as a talk with the God I then knew nothing about, was the beginning of the uneasiness within my life. The start of a fight between the light and dark. The real beginning of His presence being shown to me. It was probably then when I had received His Holy Spirit. I only speculate that notion. I can never truly say when that specific time was. It seemed to be a lot more moving and powerful than the water that was poured over my head in later years. The unrest seemed to have started just around that time. Much like the temptations that Jesus had encountered right after baptism in the Jordan.
Did the god I had served for so many years prior to that moment, that ruler of the air, that sly and wicked evil spirit, did he now have an even greater task when facing me? Was that new life: His light within me, was it now a great obstacle that would be jabbed, both day and night, until my parting day from this physical world? Was it the beginning of the many strategic ways of pulling me away from His cleansing and resident paraclete? Was it the beginning of the decade of affliction? The years of physical and mental disruption?
I suppose the work that had begun all of those years ago really began to nourish me with the milk of my faith. I began to see the true nature of my heart. I began to see the evil of the world and the same evil that resided within me. It was slowly becoming visible through The Word and through this new voice I had never heard before, within. It was becoming a voice that totally contradicted most of everything I had, up until that point, filled my life with. It was love and compassion. It was beyond morality. It was the voice of God. It was a direction that HEALED. Not just another temporary fix.
I rest peacefully these days, unless I feed myself with the things that I know will keep me awake. The poor diet. The caffeine. The old patterns of thinking. Being unmindful of the craftiness of the devil. Forgetting what the Bible has told. My brain’s chemical balance is managed. The illegal drugs are a thing of the past. The love that is provided within the now has a welcomed dominance over my life. I focus and find refuge in Him, even when the tired mind and body lies vulnerable and exposed to the enemy’s schemes. I rest assured in being sealed in Christ, even though this world has its way of cracking me, allowing that old devil in.