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Sleep Eludes Me

It’s after 1 a.m. Sunday morning and I am awake. Before going to bed, I took a Naproxen because I had a slight headache. It hasn’t helped much, yet, and it’s been a couple of hours. Unfortunately the label says I can only take one every 8 hours.

The headache is one-sided which can mean the start of a migraine but taking an Excedrin For Migraine pill is not an option as they have caffeine which would keep me awake — but they do get rid of my headaches.

So I’ve gotten up trying to figure out why I’m still awake as the headache doesn’t seem severe enough to warrant a sleepless night.

Saturday started out easy enough but I much anticipated going to church because a friend, who I hadn’t seen in over 10 years, recently moved to Minnesota to look for work.

I first met him when he came to visit the church I attended in Seattle. I invited him home for lunch and the rest is history. He has an interesting background. He came to the U.S. seeking asylum from Liberia where he is from. He is currently a U.S. citizen and received a Masters of Divinity degree.

When my husband and I arrived at church he was not there yet. I kept looking back to see if I could see him amid the many faces in church. Once he spotted me (in spite of my now almost gray hair) he came straight for us. I was so happy to see him. We invited him over for lunch, we ate, talked then he went to his temporary home.

But surely that excitement wouldn’t cause a headache or have me wired that I can’t sleep. Thinking back to before the headache started, I remember having hot chocolate, small pieces of cheddar cheese and saltine crackers. I have heard that cheese can cause headaches in some people.  Hmmm …

Surely it can’t be the hot chocolate … that’s an almost daily ritual for me.

Perhaps my being wired (if I can call it that) and possibly the headache is from the stress my church is going through right now. They have started committees to discuss whether women should be ordained as Pastors. And, unfortunately, three Conferences have decided to pre-empt the committee process and have approved gender neutral ordinations. I’m not sure what the result of that will be.

What’s really interesting is that the church was co-founded by a woman. And even more interesting is that women have been doing the work as “commissioned” Pastors instead of “ordained” Pastors. They pretty much do everything the men do so why not give them the title?

For me, the missing piece is the study of what God wants us to do in this situation. What does His word say about it? Just because women have been allowed to do something for so many years doesn’t mean that God wanted it that way.

My head spins when I think of all the reading and policy deciphering that I need to do in order to decide for myself what the answer is.

Some people have not behaved humbly — men nor women — and that troubles me even more. This isn’t about “rights” — it’s about following what God would have us to do in spite of what we want to do.

The situation brings to mind a similar problem within the Catholic Church. Some priests wanted to marry but the teachings of the church prohibited it. My stance on that was — get out. If you don’t like the teachings you don’t have to belong to that particular organization. Instead, priests tried to change the system and were angry and accusing of the church in spite of their agreement when they first joined.

We seem to live in a world where we demand what we think is rightfully ours. But that’s not the way of a Christian. Jesus tells us to turn the other cheek yet the world says defend yourself. (More on that another time …)

Our calling is different than the world’s.

So, I’ll listen to the pros and cons, I’ll read, but mostly I’ll pray. We have Someone higher than ourselves who cares about the direction of His church. We must do what He wants in spite of what we or others want.

So many things in my head — no wonder I’m wired.

Looking out the window into the moonless night, I see so many stars. I pick up the binoculars, look again and see so many more stars. I’m reminded of the Scripture that says that God knows the number of hairs on my head. Quite a detailed God He is.

There is truly nothing to worry about. In the end everything will work out. It’s just that humans are so unpredictable and I don’t like seeing power plays in the church among my brothers and sisters.

Okay … time to try to sleep again.

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