It’s been a Vacation Bible School week. Not at my own church, but I’ve volunteered at two other churches in my community this week. That’s why I’m a little late with this post. Yesterday afternoon I did not blog. I napped. For a long time. I’d like to say that I lay down on the couch thinking that I would “meditate” on my blog post. But I did not. I lay down on my couch thinking, ”Thank you, God, I really need a nap.”
Since I am just volunteering at these day camps, I have the ability to take an afternoon nap. If either of the pastors at these two churches read this, they may not ‘like” it, because they do not get a nap. So I apologize in advance if this comes off as bragging, but I am not kidding when I thank God for the time to nap.
Not everyone has that ability. Life is much harder for some people. They work multiple jobs. They don’t have a lot of leisure time. They don’t have flexible schedules. They have young children who do not let them nap. They have authorities telling them to move along, there’s no sleeping on the sidewalks in this part of town. Their lives are so unsafe that to close their eyes make them vulnerable to violence or death.
Some people have trouble sleeping at all. Insomnia makes them too tired to live the life they want, but will not let them rest. Some have nightmares whenever they close their eyes and sometimes even when their eyes are open. You, dear readers, could probably offer me a hundred other reasons people cannot take a nap. And perhaps, there’s even some people reading this who can tell me about their problems with sleeping too much. I have a friend who is narcoleptic. I don’t know how she feels about naps.
All of that just makes me more thankful that I can every once in a while on a rainy Tuesday afternoon put my feet up and sleep. Not enough to make me groggy or crabby. Not enough to keep me from sleeping that night. Just a little nap to help me make it through the rest of the day.
I often do silent prayer exercises with individuals or groups that hire me to work with them on prayer. I make sure to always say that it is fine if they fall asleep. Honestly, I don’t even care if they snore, though I know it’s awkward in group settings. When we do this silent prayer we are listening for God. So I tell them that if they fall asleep, maybe it’s God saying that they need it. Telling them to take better care of this temple they call their body. Telling them that even God rested on the seventh day of creation.
I told one group doing the story of creation at Vacation Bible School that on the seventh day God created naps. I’m not sure that’s orthodoxy, but it’s resonating with me this week.
Do you get to nap very often? Is it a good experience, or do you wake up groggy and crabby? Do you think God ever has a message for you to take better care of your body? What are you most thankful for today?
Do you think we can make napping one of the Sacred Pauses in our day? If you live in the Savannah area, we can talk about that in person. I am doing a book study and prayer group on Tuesday mornings at 9 am for 6 weeks in August and September. For more information see my facebook event.