Here is the definition of right from the online Webster’s dictionary: “a condition that is characterized by various psychological and physiological effects (such as fatigue and irritability), occurs following long flight through several time zones, and probably results from disruption of circadian rhythms in the human body.”
Thankfully on my trip to and from India I experienced very little jet leg symptoms. I required two days of adjusting my sleep patterns while in India and about a day and a half coming back. Last Wednesday was my first somewhat regular night of sleeping and waking up in a normal pattern. There are so many things in life which can affect our emotional and physical well-being. Obviously for many of us it is a combination of factors such as: lack of sleep, lack of nutrition, lack of rest, to time off from work, physical ailments, emotional struggles, marital strife, wayward children and the list goes on. It’s easy to see how our sleeping pattern can completely change our attitude and our overall disposition. There were definitely times on this trip where I was in need of a quick power nap or a little fresh air or just a little movement or exercise to get the blood circulating. Here is a funny story about my battle with jet lag…I told Pastor George I was going to lay down for 20 minutes, it was about 5:30 in the afternoon (which was about 5 AM in America). The next thing I heard was George waking me up saying, “Joe it’s time to get up” and I said to him, “is it in the morning?” In reality it was just an hour and a half later and we were getting ready to go out for dinner. A few minutes later I gathered myself and realized it was evening. Looking outside and seeing the darkness was a small reminder to me of how easy is it for us to be deceived, mislead, or confused because of environmental factors. Let’s tie this into our spiritual life. It is so important that we be led by the Holy Spirit, have the peace of God resting on us, and pause before we make any decision or comment we might regret. For me it was jet lag which was causing some minor disorientation in my life routine, but for others it could be the unseen realm of spiritual factors around you which are creating a level of discontent in your life. The Bible clearly states the Devil comes only to steal and kill and destroy. The enemy of our souls loves to use external factors to create spiritual jet lag in our life. Some of the symptoms of spiritual jet lag are: a troubled spirit, a down-cast soul, a sense of separation from the eternal, a loss of compassion for man-kind, and much more. These are just some of the obvious symptoms many of us will encounter. What should we do? There’s great benefit to regular and routine activities; it’s good to go to bed at the same time whenever possible, to have your meals at certain times, to eat the right kind of nutritious food, to spend a portion of each day praying, reading the Word, and fellowshipping with other individuals. Let’s make this next verse part of our remedy against spiritual jet lag.
“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8 NLT
One of my biggest struggles when traveling is trying to fall asleep on an airplane. I’m just a big guy (6’3" and 235 pounds) so I have to overcome some environmental factors to find rest. We can find application from my own struggle and how we need to reach out to God, and believe what He says, “come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” I encourage you to meditate on Matthew 11:28-30.