There is something wrong with my vacation planning, when I do not give myself a day of recovery following an overseas flight that arrives late at night. The result is jet lag that hits you mid-afternoon. The problem was, I not only worked a full day but had a board meeting that evening as well. I pushed through and survived, though I’m not sure my board report was shared as robustly as usual.
Jet lag is nothing new in my life. I’ve been traveling across oceans for more than 30 years, and know what to expect and how to counteract the symptoms. Yet, I do find it a fascinating phenomenon — a wonder of the world we live in.
Have you thought about the fact that without jet travel, there would be no jet lag? When people travel on boats, they may experience a change in time, but the travel is so slow that their bodies have time to keep up with the difference. When it comes down to it, we’re really not supposed to be doing this to our bodies, and they let us know so.
When I’m jet lagged, my body is telling me to sleep when I should be up; to eat, when I’m not hungry; to go to the bathroom, when I don’t feel like it. Everything is messed up. The reality I’m living in is not the same my body knows.
Something has to give — either I submit my body to the present or give into the sirens going off in my body and sleep or wake up, as the case usually is about 3 a.m. As time goes on, adjustment is made, lots of caffeine here, a cat nap there. In the end, harmony is restored, and jet lag gives way.
You may not realize it, but as Christians, we live in this kind of alternate reality on a daily basis. My mind tells me to live for today while my soul is longing for its eternal home. Some days the pull of the eternal is stronger than others, and I feel I can’t go on in this world of woe. Then, I’m reminded of the task he’s given me for my time on this earth and remember that each day is a day the Lord has made. In my choosing to rejoice in it, harmony is restored to my spiritual jet lag.
Do you feel out of sorts? Living for another time zone altogether and can’t seem to adjust to the one you’re in? Be encouraged that you are not alone in this world. He’s living with you, indwelling in you to enable you to be at peace for the days he’s given. The day will come soon enough for all jet lag to end, as we enjoy his presence in the same eternal time zone.
In the meantime, get some rest, stay alert and press on. Safe travels.
Grace and Peace