I have a terrible confession to get off my chest. It is a secret I have tried to hide from family and friends for years. Up to this point, I have been fairly successful in hiding this but I believe the time has come to clear the air.
Having a secret is a terrible burden to bear especially around people who know you. You always run the risk that somebody is going to find out and then tell everybody and then the whole world knows your secret. The purpose of a secret is so that nobody knows. If it gets out, it is no longer a secret.
I even tried to keep this from the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, which comes as close to walking on water as I have ever come. Several times, she has come close to finding out this deep-seated secret of mine.
Even though this is risky business, I need to make a full confession. Someone has said that confession is good for the soul, but I am not quite sure.
My confession is this, and please do not hate me because of it; I love to take afternoon naps.
There, I said it. I am not sure what it did for my soul but I do not feel any happier about making this confession.
I am a firm believer in what some people refer to as the “power nap.” The problem is I live amongst a people that believe if you take a nap in the afternoon you are either very young are getting very old. The former is not the issue, and I will take issue with the latter.
I must admit that there was a time in my life when I did not take time out for naps. In fact, I had a hard time going to bed before midnight. I hated going to bed and could not wait until morning came so I could jump out of bed and get back to work. Do not get me wrong, I was not a workaholic. I just liked what I was doing.
I am not sure when it started, but I noticed a few years ago I was not resisting going to bed like before. I did not fight it is much as I used to. If the truth were known, hopefully it won’t be, as soon as my head hit the pillow the Sandman started doing his thing.
It was not long before I started sneaking 40 winks in the afternoon.
I distinctly remember one afternoon when my wife came in and said, “You’re not taking a nap, are you?”
I know lying is not a good thing, especially to your spouse. Sometimes when you are in a fix such as I was in at that moment, the truth scampers in the opposite direction.
“No,” I stuttered as she looked at me. “I was just meditating.”
“I guess everybody snores when they’re meditating,” she said with a smirk on her face.
From then on, it was a game trying to get in a nap without getting into trouble. I did find out that after one of my “power naps” I was able to do a lot more work. However, I kept that bit of information to myself.
Then my whole world changed.
Don’t you like it when something happens proving you are right? It does not happen very often to me, when it does, I relish it like a freshly baked apple fritter.
I happened to be watching some television news program. I confess I was half dozing and watching at the same time, but suddenly they said something that got my full salute attention.
According to the news story, and they can’t put it on TV unless it’s true, right? But according to this story, research showed that there was a great deal of benefits associated with afternoon naps.
That was enough for me and I, like the gentleman I am, called for my wife to come and watch this news story with me. Some things in life should be shared and this was one of them.
Afternoon naps drastically reduce the danger of heart attack and improve a person’s memory.
“So,” I said to my wife after the story, “what do you think of that?”
She smiled and looked at me and said, “Well, it must work because you never forget to take a nap.”
I will forgive her for the hilarious laughter following her remark. Just so you know, the laughter did not come from me. I may have been smiling on the outside but I was snorting on the inside.
For years, I thought taking an afternoon nap was rather beneficial. Now I have the proof and I can indulge in a daily “power nap” without feeling any sense of guilt at all. I love it when I have been proven right.
Now I take great delight in one of my favorite Bible passages.
“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29).
A friend of mine often says, “Come apart and rest a while or you’ll just come apart.” An afternoon nap has unashamedly become part of my daily activity.
The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship in Ocala, Fla. Call him at (866) 552-2543 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. His web site is www.jamessnyderministries.com.