Many of you know I deal with periodic insomnia. As aggravating as it may be at times, it's amazing what our bodies can endure without going completely bankrupt. So until it becomes something debilitating, I try to just enjoy the ride and see where it takes me.
Some nights I just can't sleep. Some nights I enjoy being awake while everyone else is asleep–it's by far the quietest slice of 24 hours that I ever experience. But sometimes its just something on my mind. Maybe I've read something or had a conversation I just can't shake. Or a song I'm working on (actually, the song is working on me.) . And my mind is buzzing until almost 3am, I doze off… until @babymakayla wakes up around 4:30. And once I'm up…I'm up for good.
Most recently, it took me back into Fight Club, a movie I’ve seen at least a hundred times. (Happy 10-year anniversary, btw..) “When you have insomnia, nothing is real. Everything is a copy…of a copy…of a copy.” So states Ed Norton’s unnamed character in the movie. He has no name because he is Everyman.
The truth is every one of us was born an original. From our fingerprint down to our DNA, there is no one else exactly like any other one of us. We are each remarkably and wonderfully made. You were born an original.
But most of us will die a poor, pathetic copy. Society’s relentless pursuit of squeezing us into a mold never quits. We look like everyone else. Talk like everyone else. Work the same jobs, eat the same food, desire the same shiny gadgets as everyone else. Color inside the lines. Walk single file. Don’t make waves.
The problem is that we were created to be a receptacle of the Divine. To be ordinary is to be only ‘more of the same’. As a human made in God’s image (eikon), my soul screams out against this with every pore in my being, just as yours does. To be ‘just another one of those’ is deadening agony to me. It has actually driven some people to their death.
But it was never God’s intention for you and I to be a copy of anything…except Christ.
Each of us wants to be extraordinary. We were built to count for something. Anything. Placed in a specific context to count in ways that no one else does. That is our destiny. That is our purpose. To be what no one else can be is to be what we were created for.
So what happened?
Climbing the spiritual mountain is sometimes exhausting. It's hard work. The fact is that very few people will ever climb an actual mountain. Most of us will drive or ride up to the top, get out, and take some nice pictures to show our friends. Spiritually, it’s not much different. Why pay the price to ‘climb’ when we can just ride our way to the Summit. Why not take the short cut?
Maybe that's why Paul tells Timothy (I Timothy 4:7-10) to 'train yourself for godliness'. Literally, 'sweat [gymnopsium] yourself towards godliness'. There are no shortcuts to sweating…
Fortunately I have people in my life that don't take the short cut. They pray. They study the Scripture. They give selflessly. They speak with the sense of having been with God. They are not a copy of a copy of a copy… They are imitators of Christ. And they challenge me to sweat towards that same end.
Some people live life. Others have life live them.
Sleepless nights have given me the time to refocus and evaluate what kind of copy I am. And what I am sweating towards. So, for now I am grateful for insomnia.