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At 17 and straight out of high school, I got my first full-time job in a bank. The shock of working five days a week was equally matched with my disorientation (and a smidge overwhelmed) as wide-eyed country kid me, set up home in the big smoke of the city. I had to do an awful lot of growing up! With a new 8-hour workday rhythm, come Friday night I was completely exhausted and ready to rest. 

I lived for Saturdays – I could sleep in! There was no bus to catch or workday to start. Saturdays were mine to waste. Typically, I would sleep-in until about 11am, skipping breakfast and going straight to lunch. In summer I’d play cricket (leg spin bowler, number 11 batsman) and in winter I would be off to the footy with mates at some local suburban ground, standing on the terraces with a meat pie dripping with sauce in one hand and a coke in the other for ‘afternoon tea’.  Perfect!  

I would love to hear what your ‘perfect’ Saturday entails. Just hit reply 

As a teenager, I had honed my sleep-in skills so by the time I started that first full-time job I was ‘match fit’ for Saturday morning sleep fests.  However, as the years have gone by, life has changed and with it, so have my sleep patterns. I still sleep in from time to time (usually on holidays), but 9am is about my limit. The truth is I sleep less these days, not necessarily because I’m not physically tired, but sometimes because my (overactive) mind is racing ahead of me. Sometimes, thankfully not all the time, in the early morning hours anxious thoughts emerge from my sleeping subconscious and wake me with a start. Even if daylight is hours away, my day has started. 

It was a few mornings ago, having crept out to the kitchen and opened my bible and journal, I read these evocative words, words that elicit images and emotions that speak to me powerfully: 

‘I am like a desert owl, like an owl among the ruins. I lie awake; I have become like a bird alone on a roof.’ 

(Psalms 102:6-7) 

The ancient editor offers this introductory explanation: 

‘A prayer for an afflicted person who has grown weak and pours out a lament before the LORD.’ 

In my mind I picture the writer wrestling through another night with their anxious thoughts, sleep alluding them. It’s been a lonely, restless and exhausting struggle, one he shares with his God. 

There are some nights where my mind wrestles with ‘what if’s’ and my heart with ‘what could have beens’. That’s the truth of it. But here’s what I know to be truer still. God knows my anxious thoughts. As isolated as I might feel from time to time, with God I am never, ever alone. Even tossing and turning through the night, even among the ‘ruins’ of failures, disappointments and mistakes – we are never, ever alone. 

A follower of Jesus, a man called Peter says, ‘Cast all your anxiety on him (Jesus) because he cares for you.’ (1 Peter 5:7) Whether in the middle of the night, middle of the day or middle of a meeting, I’ve learned the liberating power of these words. My anxious thoughts are not mine to carry alone.  My sleep interrupted nights are not mine to navigate alone. Jesus is my companion, more, He is my peace. 

My friends, as you step into this week my prayer for you is you would know and experience the peace and rest Jesus offers those who ask for it.  

Every blessing,

Rev Stu Cameron
CEO and Superintendent, Wesley Mission

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