I have Circadian Dysrhythmia. Before you head to the store to purchase a saccharine laced Hallmark card, you should also know this disorder by its more common name: Jet Lag. Of the 18 symptoms listed by the irrefutable “Web Doctor” I have the following:
- Sleep problems
- Awake early in the morning
- Problems concentrating
- Cognitive difficulty
- Mild memory problems
- Disorientation, grogginess, irritability
Jet lag happens because rapid travel throws off our circadian rhythm — the biological clock that helps control when we wake and fall asleep. This medical malaise is nothing in comparison to the richness of travel. The beloved early church father Augustine rightly commented:
“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”
We have been traveling out of the country the last 30 days and man, does it feel good to be home.
One of the best things to do for physical jet lag is to rest and to drink more water. The same is true for spiritual jet lag – just rest in God’s arms, spend time with Him, and drink in his wisdom and love.
Benjamin Button said this about coming home:
“It’s a funny thing about comin’ home. Looks the same, smells the same, feels the same. You’ll realize what’s changed is you.”
I know our trip changed me internally, widened my worldview, and deepened my faith. I also know God is unchanging and my anchor, especially when I feel disoriented and fatigued.
I am appreciative of those in the St. John’s, Wash Park community that has allowed this Sabbatical to address my spiritual “jet lag.”
When I flew to the USA from China one of the first things I did was change the time on my watch to Denver time. Then, when I landed on home soil, I focused on being home and not on where I was. Lin Yutang complements this thought:
“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.”