There is much to be said for insomnia (which I am experiencing as I write) but not if it happens too often. Then it becomes unnatural and something to cure.
The same could be said of many other of our experiences.
Take enthusiasm, for example. Once in a while it is refreshing to be bubbling over with excitement for a cause or a person or even God. As with ecstasy, we are taken out of ourselves for the moment and transported with joy and energy. But have you ever tried living with someone who is wildly enthusiastic (or worse, ecstatic) all the time? It becomes obvious that what is attractive and energizing now and then, if it become a constant state, it is not only unpleasant but self-destructive.
That is one of the things that is dangerous about “happy-clappy religion” to give it its pejorative but well-known name. Once in a while, there come moments to every serious and contented Christian when he or she is caught up into what St Paul calls “the seventh heaven”, into a state of joy, peace, insight, fulfillment, when the soul knows it has come home. But (as Jesus told his apostles on the Mount of Transfiguration) it is wrong to cling to such experiences. They last only a moment, but their effects last for a lifetime. And during that lifetime there are more important things to be done, such as Jesus did when he came down the hillside and cured a paralyzed man.
Constant excitement and emotional intensity, which easily becomes hysteria, is as unhealthy as constant insomnia. Catholics too can substitute the intense peace and joy we find in adoring the Blessed Sacrament, for example, for the real Christian life of working for justice and a better life for all.
It may seem odd to compare going to church with insomnia, but too much church can be bad for your spiritual health! My Roman Catholic priest friends tell me that they sometimes come close to hating the Mass because of having to celebrate it three or even four times on a Sunday, because of the shortage of priests.
Maybe the lesson of all this is that moderation is good in all things. Sleep is usually a fine way to recharge our batteries, but too much sleep is sloth. In the same way enthusiasm is a most attractive trait for short bursts, but if it is perpetual it leads to monomania. And church masses and other services are essential for recharging our spiritual batteries, but too many services inside a church building lead to too little church service outside the building.
Now I’m going back to bed!