Morning Person or Evening Person?
For the fourth year in a row, I declined to stay up till midnight on December 31st. I used to celebrate the New Year real-time without fail, and for many years we invited friends over for food, movies, and games. This year, I was ambiguous on the matter during the day…maybe I would, maybe I wouldn’t. We had a friend over, watched a movie, ate salty snacks, and played two games of Skip-Bo. After all that, I thought, “Surely it is almost midnight!” I looked up at the clock…What? It’s only 10?
My wife calls it “growing orange”, like a pumpkin (think Cinderella’s magical carriage)…that sluggish, glazed-over look I get around 9:30. Yes, I was orange. Sorry folks, I’m not going to make it. Ten minutes later I was out.
Some people are evening people, like my wife. It takes her a long time to drift off, and in the morning, she is quite a challenge to get up. Others are morning people, like me. Sluggish in the evening, but in the morning, I jump out of bed ready to go. I love the stillness of the early hours. It’s a great time to think and plan for the day.
I’ve got scriptural evidence that the Apostle Paul was a evening person. Acts 20:7 says, “On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight.” Paul loved to talk about the Lord. And his audience was listening and asking questions. Like an evening person, he ignored the clock and leaned into the conversation.
What comes next is the story of the first guy to fall asleep in church. Poor Eutychus! He was becoming a deep shade of orange like me! It says there were “many lamps” burning hypnotically in the room, and he “sank into a deep sleep”. Unfortunately, he was sitting on a windowsill, three stories high, and fell to his death! It was a good thing for him that Paul could raise the dead, which is what he did in this case.
But the story gets even more bizarre (at least for us morning people) in verse 11. “When Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak.” Never mind that you just killed someone with your long sermon, Paul! Now you’re going to have a midnight snack and continue for another five hours?!!
Yes, Paul was definitely an evening person. In my columns this month, I’m going to look at another passage in which Paul stays up past midnight. I’ll show you three “midnight deliveries”, and what we can learn from those deliveries for our own lives.