In the Middle of the Night…

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.


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…

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About Bob Ritzema

I am a fourth-generation American of Dutch ancestry and am trained as a clinical psychologist. In 2012, I retired from Methodist University in North Carolina to return to . Michigan to help family. I maintain a part-time therapy practice in Grand Rapids. I currently worship at Monroe Community Church in Grand Rapids. I can be reached at
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