He went to the judge and said that he still couldn't sleep. The judge told him to get a dog. Of course, then the man had a dog and cat making noise and moving around in addition to the tapping and dripping sound. The story continues with the judge recommending that this man fill his bed with a cat, a dog, a cow, a horse, and I don't remember how many other animals.
The man goes back to the judge, desperate, and tells him: "I still can't sleep! Now there's mooing, neighing, barking, meowing, tapping, and dripping!" And the judge says: "Get rid of the cat, the dog, the cow, the horse, and all the other animals." And the man gets blissful sleep.
I feel a little bit like the man in that story--before getting rid of the animals. I had sleep troubles in Philadelphia, where there would be sounds of car engines, occasional loud music from cars in the block behind us, a very occasional block party that lasted until 11:00, or an occasional dog left outside at night or overnight.
Now I live in the Dominican Republic, where each night there are roosters crowing, dogs barking (dogs live outside, it's warm and theft is a huge problem here), and my neighbor's unbelievably loud house alarm going off in the middle of the night. Needless to say, I feel like I've jumped out of the frying pan into the fire. I can only hope that things for me will end as they did for the man in the story.
This morning, after the house alarm woke me up at both 1:30 and 3:30 during the night and I didn't sleep much at all (after a week of interrupted sleep from the house alarm across the street), I was feeling a little low. I must admit that I don't often listen to sermons, but in my discouraged state I thought it would be a good idea. I found a sermon on suffering by Tim Keller to listen to while I made granola--Tim Keller being my favorite preacher both because he has such great insight and because he doesn't have a "preacher's voice."
The sermon was really powerful and addressed a more profound suffering than I'm experiencing. I found it really moving, though, and felt very encouraged. I wanted to share it, in case anyone's interested:
(You have to click on the sermon with this name when you get to the webpage of free sermons related to suffering.)