Thursday, December 11th, 2008
Enjoying the comforts of one’s bed has long been a hobby associated with students. Yet it seems that eminent theologians have also noted the great benefits of the discipline.
C. S. Lewis wisely noted, ‘At the evening meal and after, comes the time for talk, or, failing that, for lighter reading; and unless you are making a night of it with your cronies, there is no reason why you should ever be in bed later than eleven.’ (From Surprised by Joy) A sound piece of advice for the reader who wants to clock-up a decent lie in.
G. K. Chesterton was so enamoured with staying in bed that he wrote a short essay, On Lying in Bed. In it he imagined that ‘Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a coloured pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling.’
GKC is mortified when he realises he forgot to put the clocks back last night
After some time ruminating on the merits of lying in bed for a good deal of time, Chesterton gets firm. ‘The tone now commonly taken toward the practice of lying in bed is hypocritical and unhealthy… Instead of being regarded, as it ought to be, as a matter of personal convenience and adjustment, it has come to be regarded by many as if it were a part of essential morals to get up early in the morning... Misers get up early in the morning; and burglars, I am informed, get up the night before.’
Clearly, a breakfast (or lunch) in bed now and then is the mark of a man or woman of fine moral character. Let’s not forget that Moses enjoyed lying in bed and thinking about theology often (Deuteronomy 6:7), Adam and Boaz both got their wives by enjoying a good sleep, and of course the promise of the new creation is finally to enjoy the Sabbath rest of God’s 7th Day (Hebrews 8). Until that great day, we are to rest- with theological appreciation- on the promise of Psalm 127:2, ‘the Lord gives sleep to those he loves.’