“Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” – Mark 6:30-32
When I read Michael Hyatt’s blog post “5 Reasons Why You Should Take a Nap Every Day,” I was elated.
Finally–statistical research that validates my desire to nap.
I’ve taken Sunday afternoon naps as long as I can remember—on God’s ordained day of rest. But napping every afternoon always seemed too self-indulgent…lazy.
Now, it seems a nap might actually be beneficial to our work, as long as we do it for the right reason and apply safeguards to keep from napping too long.
I’m a morning person. So I set my alarm for 5:00. This is my most productive time, so I try to schedule accordingly. By early afternoon, though, my energy level drops, like some wind-up toy that slowly winds down until it gives out. Not good when there’s more to do than time to do it.
Do you ever feel this way—sluggish and sleepy?
Could it be that taking a 20-30-minute nap every day could be just what the doctor ordered? Oh, say it’s true!
Michael Hyatt’s research supports this. But does God’s Word?
Proverbs 6:9-11 says: “How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest–and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.” I often use this passage to remind myself not to be lazy and it seems to speak against sleep during the day.
But Proverbs 6:6-8 gives more of the picture: “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.”
This tells the difference between being lazy and being productive. A nap, taken in this context, would only be sinful if the purpose is to keep from doing work. But if a nap is for restoring energy and alertness to be more productive, it would be beneficial and, therefore, not sinful.
Song of Songs 1:7 mentions sheep that rest at midday. This sounds like a nap to me. And God’s Word often calls us sheep.
Then in Mark 6:30-32, Jesus tells His disciples, “Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” They had just told Him about all the work they did, so this rest followed a productive time.
So, taken together, these verses suggest hard work should be followed by rest to renew our energy and be refreshed…and not only at night.
To nap right, though, we need some guidelines…
- Work hard first
- Lay down in a quiet place
- Give thanks for the work you’ve done and ask God to refresh you
- Set a timer for no more than 30 minutes
- When the timer goes off, get up!
- Give thanks for rest and ask God to bless your work
- Refreshed, go get busy again
God’s Word doesn’t say we must rest each afternoon. But when those dragging moments come, it’s nice to know God provides a quick way to rejuvenate.
A rest following hard work allows more hard work to follow.
So what do you say? Could you use a nap?
Dearest Father, thank You for providing the ability to work and time for needed rest. May we be faithful to serve You and Your purposes in both. In Jesus’ name, Amen.Blessings to you, Sabra
All Scripture from The Holy Bible, New International Version, 1984. Napping image by Meredith Bernard at www.meredithbernard.com. Used by permission.(Thanks, Meredith!) Other images by Sabra Penley.