Sunday, January 20, 2013

Ode to the Sunday Nap

"at rest in my house"
Daniel 4:4

Ahhhh..... the Sunday nap.  There's just nothing like it.  And it certainly doesn't happen every Sunday, but I guess that makes it even more precious.

I think it's a sweet pleasure because everything has to be right in my life before I can indulge.   For instance, when my kids were younger, I couldn't let down my guard unless I knew they weren't going to decide to try painting on the walls with my nail polish or something.  So even now, my being able to nap is predicated on my knowledge that my kids are safe and secure, the stove is not on, and the dog is not locked outside (which would lead to a great deal of demanding barking).

And most of all, a nap makes the statement that there's nothing I need to be doing.  At least, nothing for the next 20 minutes or so.  Because that's all a nap is to me.  20 minutes of eyes closed and mind and body relaxed.   And when I'm done, I have more energy and even an increased sense of eagerness to tackle the needs of my day.

It's a boost.  A lift.  Dare I say, even a little bit of life.

And what's interesting to me is how different a good nap is from a good night's sleep.  Both are necessary, but in totally different ways.  Although naps are beneficial, they do not take the place of eight hours, total darkness, and REM.

Sleeping is necessary for good health, good attitude, and good mental acuity.   A 20 minute nap cannot restore a body to where it should be.  So we can't do without sleep, and think we can make up for it with naps. 

I think the difference occurred to me the other day because I was thinking about my quiet time with God.  I know a lot of people who get up first thing in the morning to pray, or read the Bible.  It's an important way to start the day.  It doesn't even have to be long.  And frankly, it doesn't even have to be first thing in the morning.  But it has to be sometime.  There has to be a time during the day when we sit down and talk to Him and listen to Him, and think about nothing but Him.  It has to be sincere, and concentrated.  This is like your good night's sleep, to revive you and sustain you.  

But then there are the naps.  Times during the day when perhaps you sit down for a short Bible reading.  Maybe a psalm or a chapter out of a gospel or Genesis.   Maybe it's when you're driving, and you turn off the radio and give your thoughts to Him for a few minutes.  Or maybe it's when you turn off the TV and turn on the worship music.

It's just a few minutes to pause in your day, and remember that your life is not about you.  This is your "nap", restful and rejuvenating. 

He is with us always, but we don't always remember how close He is.  Which is because we're not that close to Him.  Even though He's close to us.  Make sense?

We need sleep.  And we need rest.  But most of all, we need to rest in Him. 

~ "He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul" ~
Psalm 23:2-3

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