One Brave Christian Experiment: Day 17, Eat, pray, sleep

Editor’s Note: Contributor Christine Moughamian is blogging each day of Lent about her progress becoming “one brave Christian.” Follow her experiment on Twitter @1bravechristian.

By Contributor Christine Moughamian

There I was again, lying in bed; wide awake at 4 a.m., literally counting the minutes on my cell phone. So I did what I usually do: I called Silent Unity at 1-800-NOW-PRAY.

Since I’d received a phone call from my sister in France, I couldn’t stop thinking about my family, my aging mother and the legal issues that arose after my father’s passing. I asked my prayer partner to help me formulate a prayer for all of us.

“Divine Justice is established under grace,” she said.

It was a prayer powerful enough for me to surrender to God and go back to sleep.

But sleep would not come.

I listened to my motivational tape, then checked the time, again and again: 4:44 a.m., 4:52 a.m., 5:06 a.m..

Frustrated, I threw the blankets off my bed, got up and said out loud: “I’m not writing ‘The Diary of A Sleepwalker, Part II.’ I can’t go back to my first post.” Then I picked up my cell phone and my flashlight. I went upstairs to pray and meditate as “one brave Christian.”

Christine's meditation pillow and scriptures, tools of her One Brave Christian Experiment. Photo by Christine Moughamian.

I sat down on my pillow, opened my practice booklet, recorded the time in it: 5:12 a.m. I was 18 minutes early for my date with Sam Teague.

“Better early than late,” I thought.

I read the selected scripture for today, Luke 11:9,10.

“I say to you also, Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and he who knocks, it shall be opened to him.”

To put the words of Jesus Christ back in context, I read the few preceding chapters. They describe his ministry of healing the sick and the lame with both touch and word. I was struck by the story of the leper told in Luke 5:12, reflecting the time of my meditation:

“When Jesus was in one of the cities, there came a man who was covered with leprosy; and he saw Jesus and fell on his face, and besought him, saying, My Lord, if you will, you can cleanse me.”

Then in Luke 5:13:

“And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, I will, be clean; and immediately, his leprosy left him.”

Instead of “meditating” on the scripture, I decided to use it.

“I will,” I said out loud. “SLEEP!”

I stretched out on the floor, wrapped myself in a blanket and… fell asleep.

I woke up at 7:12 a.m., refreshed and renewed but uninspired by the scriptures. My boyfriend corrected me.

“Here’s your post,” he said, “you asked and you were given.”

At first, it seemed too mundane to write about using a biblical quote to, well, go back to sleep.

But I thought about Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling book “Eat, Pray, Love.” I remembered the beginning of her story.

She was kept up at night and wept and wailed in her bathroom, until she eventually fell on her knees and prayed.

Like me, she didn’t see a thunderbolt or hear “an Old Testament Hollywood Charlton Heston voice, nor was it a voice telling me I must build a baseball field in my backyard.”

It was her own voice that said: “Go back to bed, Liz.”

To check her exact quote, I got her book. It opened on its own, at that

Christine's copy of Elizabeth Gilbert's book "Eat, Pray Love." Photo by Christine Moughamian

specific page, with a note I had written on a loose piece of paper, dated Monday, March 1, 2010:

Daily Guideposts 2010, A Spirit-lifting Devotional, p. 67:

“But go now to your rest; for you will rise again and have full share of those last days.” (Daniel 12:13)

Who knows, I might just write the next bestseller? I already have a title:

“EAT. PRAY. SLEEP.”

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