In the Middle of the Night…

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.” – T. E. Lawrence

I didn’t sleep well last night and woke up singing “The River of Dreams” by Billy Joel. I’m not sure how the song became lodged in my brain or the last time I remember hearing it but there it was and stayed all day long. When a song decides to take up residence in my noggin I usually find it online, listen to it and forget about it. Not today. Even after several times it refused to be evicted.

I began thinking maybe there was a reason it wasn’t budging. As I stopped doing other things, and really listened, it spoke on a deep, spiritual level to me. The song is about a man searching for meaning. His search has him walking in darkness, descending mountains of faith, through jungles of doubt, across deserts of truth hoping;

to finally find what he’s been looking for.”


I don’t know why I go walking at night But now I’m tired and I don’t want to walk anymore I hope it doesn’t take the rest of my life Until I find what it is that I’ve been looking for.

As the lyrics of this song permeated my being I noticed my melancholy mood. Part of it was the low hanging gray clouds and rain, also my lack of sleep but even more so it was discouragement. I was sharing with a friend on Monday a feeling of life being log jammed. Being in transition can be a difficult part of the path to navigate and when you are waiting for something to happen, anything, to give you a sense of direction, it can be discouraging. Similar to the man, walking in the middle of the night, wondering how long it will take to find what I’m “searching for.”


After lunch I took a nap. When I woke up the song was still banging around in my head. I decided to take the Husky for a run. Taking my mp3 player with me, I put the song on repeat and kept reflecting on it. It was overcast but at one point, rounding a curve, while I was lost in the song, the sun broke through the clouds and shone into my soul.

“Only be seen by the eyes of the blind.”

The light reminded me there are times we must walk “in the middle of the night” and finding our way isn’t done with physical or intellectual eyes. We must surrender and be carried along by something other, something greater.

“I go walking in the middle of the…”

The end of the song keeps repeating “I go walking in the middle of the night…” Yesterday I was talking with someone about life and its challenges. We both agreed there are many times when you might not know where you are going but you keep walking, one step, one day, at a time.


in the middle of the night,


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About is a place for sojourners walking this spiritual path called life. - Essentialist, contemplative, author, advocate, old soul

Posted on November 7, 2013, in Mindfulness and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on Beyond Halfway and commented:
    Brian Loging, blogging as “The Wannabe Saint,” wrote recently about waking up with Billy Joel’s song “In the Middle of the Night” running through his head. As he listened to and thought about the song throughout the day, he realized it was related to feelings of discouragement stemming from a lack of direction. He concluded that we often don’t know where we are going but have to keep walking in the dark, looking. Good point. I’d just add that we humans have two types of vision receptors in our eyes, named rods and cones. Cones are responsible for color vision, vision in bright lighting, vision when we are looking directly at something. When we feel lost, we desire that sort of vision, in which we see clearly and know exactly what is going on. Rods are responsible for vision in dimly lit conditions, especially in the periphery of the visual field. They see only black, white, and shades of gray. Often, the only answer we get to our seeking is what we see dimly, in the near dark, out of the corner of the eye, the sort of vision that only rods provide. We aren’t even sure that we saw anything. Faith is knowing that such sightings are just as real as what we see in the noontime brightness.


  2. I love Eugene Peterson’s choice of the title for his book on discipleship: A Long Obedience in the Same Direction (actually a quote from an unlikely source: Friedrich Nietzsche.) When I think of life in those terms I can tolerate transitions and days of desolation and wait for God to reveal himself me – or maybe for me to finally stop denying what God has been pointing out to me. I’d love to use this post in our church’s Apprentice newsletter. This is kingdom living and that’s what we’re all about. Let me know if that’s okay.


    • Eugene Peterson’s book “The Contemplative Pastor” was a Godsend to me. Affirmed in me my calling as a pastor. Until then I felt no one understood who I was and what i was called to be. After this I thought “yes! this is who i am and what my ministry will look like.” I have read most of his books and each of the are wonderful. his autobiography touched me deeply.

      You are more than welcome to share the article. If possible please note author and where the article comes from.

      thanks and blessings


      • I think every person who aspires to help others on the journey to becoming like Jesus should read Peterson’s Pastor. I cried at the end – not only because this delightful book was ending, but also because Peterson is getting older and we will lose his perspective and his beautiful writing. I remember being at a Renovare international conference in San Antonio listening at the edge of my seat to a conversation on stage with Richard Foster, Eugene Peterson, Dallas Willard, John Ortberg and James Bryan Smith. Jim Smith was the youngest. I remember thinking then how this generation of spiritual formation giants would soon be gone. Dallas Willard died this summer and I mourned the passage of a man, who with the others, changed my life.


  3. I go walking at night when I’m on the verge of a transformation or a revelation of something previously not seen or known. Walking in the dark until light dawns on us. It is definitely a whispering of wisdom from the Spirit. An awakening. I hate walking in the dark search but when I am ready to see it and the light switch is turned it is awe inspiring..


    • you are so right and said it eloquently. a hard place to be but if we don’t travel at night it will take us twice as long to get where we need to be.



      • I couldn’t agree more. I may hate the journey..but I know if I chose to take it, the destination is so worth the fighting with the flesh to get there! I love how so wonderfully patient and loving God is with us in this process. He kinda lets us throw a little fit and waits for us to finish..really isn’t much different than what we go through with our own children! He is such a practical, hands on, wonderful loving Teacher and Father. Have a blessed day! Queen Of Hearts


  4. Thought I was the only one who woke up singing silly songs! As long as it doesn’t hang in there with you for days, you can deal with anything.


  5. That’s the key, keep walking, keep moving forward


    • Yes. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read and share.



    • 2 Pt.3:17Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.18But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. As we look to another of the Lord’s Saints our brother Luke as he quotes Jesus Himself in; Lk.9:57And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.58And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.59And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.60Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.61And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.62And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. Even when we think and even know what our calling is in our Ministries for the Lord, He will give us a new placement, as our growth in Him grows with our faith in Him! Let us do as the Apostle Paul has told us and seek after and covet the best gifts as we grow into what Christ want us all to be for Him and His Kingdom!
      Let us all put our hands to His plow and keep looking forward to His coming, Amen!
      Lords Way Ministries
      Rev. G. L. Boyett


  6. I like your song and its very relate-able too. Anyway I hope you find your way.


  7. The photos are well chosen. I pray that soon you shall walk in the fingers of the sun. Shalom


  8. Sometimes that road is a dark and lonely one, and you have depicted it with sensitivity and truth.


  9. Encouraging thoughts and reflections. One step at a time.x


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