It seems like such a slight change, going to bed at 9 p.m. instead of 9:30 or 10:15. But over the past two weeks, as I have sought to give up my nights for Jesus in a Lenten bedtime fast, I have begun to see big changes in my life.
Surprisingly, I am not well-rested yet, not bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, as my Grandma Ruth liked to say. Part of that is a result of my fast beginning just about the time Daylight Savings Time required us to change our clocks. So, for days it felt like I was going to bed at 8, and I just couldn’t go to sleep that early.
But over time, I suspect that will change as I force myself to spend 8 hours in my bed each night, sleeping or not.
The big changes I have seen, however, have been more at the heart level, have been about trust and abandon and the fact that the rules of my fast mean I can’t Google at 1:30 a.m. when I wake up worried.
One small change, one big result. My faith in God’s ability to handle my life better than me is growing. When I lay down at night, trying to quiet the thoughts of all the things I didn’t do and need to do, I am forced to say to Jesus, “I give up for today. It’s in your hands.”
Living with this sense of the magnitude of every moment can paralyze me if I let it. Each choice becoming cosmically charged with the power to change everything. Or, when I see the weight of these moments for what they are, small moves in the same direction, I see that my life is shaped and lived by the sum of them.
Or, as Milton says it, “The changes that matter often begin in incremental incidents.”
What small changes have you made recently? How are you measuring the results?