Mar 27, 2010

The Power Nap

Cranky babies sometimes need a nap. It’s amazing how just a short nap
will renew and refresh a child and give peace to mom. As babies grow
older the naps become shorter. And at some point in life, the naps go away.

But studies show that 20 minutes of sleep in the afternoon provides more
rest than 20 minutes more sleep in the morning. The body seems to be
designed for this. Most people’s bodies naturally become more tired in
the afternoon about 8 hours after waking. I have met many people who do
a “Power Nap”. In the middle of the afternoon they can close their eyes,
enter into a short sleep and wake up completely refreshed and capable of
putting in another 8 hours. But most people, who do this, hide it. They
don’t want to be thought of as “babies”.

Albert Einstein was notorious for the nap. He noticed that he had the
ability to solve complex problems in that period of time between waking
up and getting on with the day. In order to facilitate this behavior he
would sit in a chair with a ball in his hand. As he fell asleep the ball
would drop out of his hand and wake him up. He said that was the time
when he came up with the big solutions. Considering he was one of the
more creative people in the world, there must be some basis of truth to
his technique.

I, myself, have found that I am most creative in that period of time
right after I awake. You might ask, “Do you power nap”. To which I would
answer, “I have been known to”.

Of course, sometimes the location and timing of the nap is
inappropriate. Recently an Australian MP, Peter Slipper, dozed off
during Indonesia’s President Yudhoyono's 40-minute speech to Parliament.
The press has been all over him for it. The bright side is he woke up
refreshed. I say give him a break. It’s hard to stay awake during
40-minute speeches. It’s also hard to use the excuse, “I am listening
with my eyes closed” when snoring sounds are emanating from your body.

I am not sure if Jesus ever took a power nap. He often went off by
himself to be alone and pray. I believe that when He was praying, it was
a very relaxing and beneficial activity. I believe it gave Him strength
for the task ahead. It was probably decidedly more beneficial than a
“power nap”. It’s something we should all strive to do.

But God loves us whether we power nap or not. It’s not what we’re doing
when we’re asleep that concerns him, but what we do when we’re awake.
And He wants us to be awake and refreshed and ready for His work.


Pastor David Hook

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