One of the vestiges of my month-long COVID fun during the summer (one week sick at home, one week in the hospital and two weeks recovering at home) is that of waking up around 3 in the morning, sometimes 4. When I was in the recovery phase, the early wake-up was welcome if I had had a good night’s sleep; at that time, I would get up, as would my wife (because she was awake, too), and we’d chat or read, or I’d get some writing done and then we would lay down for a solid nap later. Now when I wake up at those times, I remain in bed because I need the sleep for a workday that will start in a few hours.
It usually takes quite a while to get back to sleep; sometimes I simply can’t. But I lay in the dark, say some prayers, watch my wife breathing and rub our dog’s head. Used to be, what was on my mind would likely surface in the night with frustrations about work, or worries about projects, or … but now it is different. A question popped into my head a few nights ago as I lay awake. “It’s 3 a.m., do you know where your heart is?” I do.
When I was growing up, a public service announcement would be broadcast on television at 10 p.m. on weekdays: “It’s 10 p.m., do you know where your children are?” It was a good reminder. I liked my answer when the heart question popped into my head a few days ago. I eventually went back to sleep, likely with a smile, before the alarm went off a couple of hours later.
I think it is a wonderful thing to wake up knowing where your heart is, more telling than waking up with things on your mind with it being scattered over dozens of places. I believe that your heart will be with things that matter while your mind will be on things to be done or issues that demand attention. There are no such demands on your heart.
I don’t know whether a sense of peace came from the odd sleep schedule during the COVID time or the sleep pattern came from the sense of peace I had then. Either way, a sense of peace has a lot to do with knowing where you heart is.