Pastor's Blog

There is Power in ... Naps?

There is Power in ... Naps?

Pastor Adrienne - July 8, 2024

There is power in naps…I know what you might be thinking. Power naps, right? Power naps are great. You can take 15-20 minutes to rest and feel completely rejuvenated once you wake up. It is an efficient way to rest and increase your productivity when you are short on time and have a lot to do.

When we hear the question, “Have you taken your nap today?”, we might assume it is a caregiver talking to a child. I hated nap time when I was a child! It was so boring! I never slept or rested. Instead, I played quietly and watched each minute tick down at an excruciatingly slow speed. But now? Now, I just laugh when I come across the meme that some of us adults might appreciate: “Dear naps, sorry I was mean to you as a kid.” Because once we grow up, naps are a rarity. It isn’t a part of our routine.

Some cultures build in rest time during the day. For example, in Spain and Mediterranean countries, they take a “siesta” sometime between 2 and 5 pm each day. In Italy, they take a “riposo” during the 1 to 5 pm time frame. Icelanders sleep outside during “úti” so they get rest and fresh air each day. In China, a noon time nap called “shùi wǔjiào,” meaning “mid-day rest,” is encouraged. In some cities in China, you can even find nap pods scattered around for public use!

Rest is scriptural. In Genesis 2:1-3, God rested on the seventh day. The third commandment is to “Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.”  Jesus consistently rested and encouraged his disciples to rest as well. One of my personal favorites is his invitation in Matthew 11: 28-30 when he says: Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” In Christ, we find rest for our souls.

I am talking about rest because I came upon a new ministry: The Nap Ministry. The Nap Ministry was founded in 2016 by Tricia Hershey. This ministry installs sacred spaces for communal rest, and especially for communities that are particularly sleep deprived. Hershey argues that communities of color are exhausted from the scourge of racism, generational exhaustion, and the demand for hyper productivity.

The premise is that there is power in rest; there is resistance in rest. According to Hershey, in the great big task of imagining a world of liberation, rest is the foundation. It is both a public health and a social justice issue. It is resistance to the grind culture and is becoming recognized as a life saver.  This ministry seems especially relevant as we just observed Juneteenth, a day when we remember that on June 19, 1865, freedom finally came for the 250,000 enslaved people of Texas. The fight for justice is an uphill battle.

Rest is important. All humans need rest, but this 

Stop. Smell the roses, literally. Take your shoes off and walk barefoot in the grass. Smile and say hello to the person in line with you. This life is a beautiful gift from God. Drink deeply and savor it.