Light a Candle

The Exercise:

Spend the last thirty minutes of the day in prayer and meditation.

Dim or turn off all lights and light enough candles that you can see clearly enough to read.

Read from the Sermon on the Mount for 10 min.

Then spend 20 min in silent meditation.

The Why:

Our society is chronically sleep deprived, running from one thing to the next, and then closing out our day in front of computer and television screens that keep us up past our natural limits.  In such a society sleep itself can become a spiritual discipline, a way of acknowledging our limits and the need to let God take over.

Many sleep experts say that we need to transition into sleep and that the way to do that is to dim our lights for the hour before we actually go to sleep.  This creates an opportunity for us to spend time in quiet reflection and scripture reading, rather than staying up to watch one more television show.  Tonight try out the above routine and see how it affects the rest of your night.


About Ragan Sutterfield

Ragan Sutterfield is a writer and Episcopal seminarian sojourning from his native Arkansas in Alexandria, Virginia. He is the author of Cultivating Reality: How the Soil Might Save Us, Farming as a Spiritual Discipline and a contributor to the book Sacred Acts: How churches are working to protect the Earth’s climate. Ragan’s articles and essays have appeared in a variety of magazines including Triathlete, The Oxford American, and Books & Culture. He works to live the good life with his wife Emily and daughter Lillian.