People either laugh at me or stare when I tell them about my holy naps.
I guard my Sabbath. Because I work about 60 hours/week and much of that involves ministry, I need to observe the 4th Commandment. I desperately need rest on Sundays.
Naps are under-rated. We demand them of our young children, because we know that rest helps them grow and thrive.
But why not also for adults? A restorative nap of even 10 minutes can help refresh our minds and hearts.
So what happens during a holy nap? How is it different from a regular siesta in the middle of the day?
For me, it’s more than physical rest. My holy nap also involves handing over to God the burdens that have been placed on me during the week: crises in people’s lives, the uncertainties of our times, Mom’s Alzheimer’s.
We sometimes forget that ministers need encouragement, too. Reverend G reminds us that “Life is a puzzle. As we age, life adds layers to our personalities and our experiences. We learn more about trusting God, then we begin to see the great cycle of history play out in our genes. But Alzheimer’s, dementia and other crises exfoliate us. They takes away the layers of life until we’re back to childhood, no longer wise.” http://amzn.to/11QATC1
So during my holy nap, I lay down the burdens of the week. I rest in the arms of God, usually starting with a prayer where I ask Jesus to intercede for all the people I know who need prayers.
When I fall asleep, the Holy Spirit takes over and I often wake up with new ideas for writing or a Bible verse to share with someone or a new and creative plan for a coaching client.
Always, I wake up refreshed – ready for another week and more of the ministries God has called me to.
So I recommend it – this small respite on a Sunday afternoon. Say “No” to extra activities on that day and put a guard around your busy heart.
Take a holy nap and be grateful.
©2013 RJ Thesman – “The Unraveling of Reverend G” – http://amzn.to/11QATC1