It’d be nice if we were angels, wouldn’t it? None of this back-and-forth, these mixed motives, these bodies that never work right, that have to be fed every single day, that bits keep on falling off of. Just be what you are, all in one piece (or maybe no pieces?), and that’s that.

It’s not just when our bodies go wrong that they’re a pain in the ass.1 Having a body is a liability: it means that you, your very self, that part of you that you imagine somehow to be inviolable and totally under the control of your will, is subject to everything from disease to distraction. A few grains of pollen could destroy your capacity for contemplation; a few hours of missing sleep could cripple your capacity for charity.

Speaking of sleep, I keep having to remind myself not to listen to anything I think when I’m tired. Don’t engage the tired thoughts, don’t refute them: ignore, ignore, ignore. This is important to remember when a friend tells some innocent joke and instead of laughing like I normally would, I think “That’s it, the friendship’s over. I could never be friends with such a stupid, stupid idiot. Just look at his stupid teeth when he laughs in that stupid way,” etc., etc.

That’s why, when I get sufficiently tired, the wisest thing is just to go hide (and sleep) somewhere until it blows over; otherwise I’d have no friends left.

Of course you can’t always hide, and you can’t always sleep. Those are the times when you need to duck into the nearest bathroom for a second (not unlike Superman, if Superman’s superpower was not-succumbing-to-irritability), howl if possible, and pray: Lord, you see what I’m like? See what happens to me? Can you take over, please?

And see if he won’t spare you a couple drops of his overflowing charity. Or at least maybe keep you from homicide.

1 Something wrong with that metaphor: how can a body be a pain in the ass? Shouldn’t an ass be a pain in the body? Since the [w]hole can’t be bigger than the part…boy, I crack myself up. Okay, all done now.

8 Comments on “Tired”

  1. JD says:

    Just read this post and the one on depression. Let’s just say I am familiar with both states. When I have a hard time turning off the mind and the black dog is starting to appear, I take to sleeping on the couch with the TV on fairly quietly. Then, my mind is more focused on what it can hear and I fall asleep. After about an hour, I get up and go to bed where I fall asleep immediately. I love this blog and really commend you. I wish I had the levels of self-awareness that you exhibit when I was your age – could have saved me a lot of grief.

  2. Tara S says:

    “Lord, you see what I’m like? See what happens to me? Can you take over, please?”

    Oh, you know my afternoon devotions!

  3. George says:

    You have the uncanny ability to talk about things as I am experiencing them. I have been very tired lately. I remember complaining the other day to my guardian angel about how easy he has it not to be able to get tired. There has been the temptation to seek out a confortable and easy life rather than continue fulfilling my commitments and obligations. At times I wonder if I can keep going as I do, but then I go to Jesus and ask Him for strength. Seems to help. But it also seems like its just enough to get me through, so I need to keep asking.

  4. Chris says:

    George, I can imagine an atheist saying, “See, that’s just life, and you’re injecting your fantasy of God into the experience to use as a crutch.”

    But we say back at him, “No, He created us in this way so we could remember our mortality and remember Who the sustainer of life is. We know He gives us enough grace to overcome whatever He throws at us, so if we feel we’re just getting by it’s a sign we’re doing things right.”

    And that’s all part of the plan.

  5. Lori says:

    You know, I struggle with depression too and one of the tough things for me is sorting out what is “me” and what is a spiritual attack from the enemy.

    I don’t know if that made any sense, but there seems to be a difference and your post was very timely as I also read this one and I think the two are tied together somehow:


    Thank you for sharing your gift of expression and words brother.

  6. Nicole says:

    How you get inside my head I’ll never know . . . God bless you, sir.

  7. Mark from PA says:

    I can relate to this sometimes. I can put up a good front most of the time, but inside sometimes it is different. We all need healing from Christ it seems.

  8. “None of this back-and-forth, these mixed motives, these bodies that never work right, that have to be fed every single day, that bits keep on falling off of.”

    My favorite Jerry Seinfeld observation:
    “If your body was a car, you wouldn’t have bought it. Way too much maintenance.”

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