The nap necessity struck once I went back to work part-time and took a late night shift at the local grocery store, hours after dinner was done and family members were all busy in their evening pursuits before bedtime. Allowing for the drive home and some time to unwind, I was rarely in bed until the wee hours of the morning. The next day began a mere four hours later, however, when my husband and kids rose early the next morning and we were all on the run once more. Taking a break in the middle of the day was the only way I could make it through.
Now that my work schedule is more normal, I find that I don’t need an extended period of sleep. A ten-minute power nap seems to satisfy the need as effectively as the longer versions of the same I allow myself when my schedule permits it, a fact which seems to indicate that my craving for shuteye is now as much psychological as well as physical. The days that are heavily scheduled from early morning til midnight are a mental burden beyond bearing as well as a physically exhausting one. Knowing I have a break to look forward to helps me handle the pressure without blowing my top.
Amazingly it’s on the traditional day of rest on which I get the least sleep. Grateful that my boss grants me the privilege of attending church with a later work schedule on Sundays, I owe it to her to bring a smiling face to my job instead of a grumpier version of the employee she hired. To that end I pack a pillow and blanket along with my purse as I leave the house in the morning, and spend some quality time with the back seat of my car in the parking lot before walking in the workplace door.
God understands our need for rest. Jesus repeatedly tried to remove His disciples from the ever-present pressure of the crowds surrounding them for moments of relief and recuperation. He’ll give us the same if we simply ask him. One of my favorite Bible verses promises that God gives sleep to those he loves, and every nap I’m allowed to take is simply evidence that I’m high on His list!
“It is useless to get up early and stay up late in order to earn a living. God takes care of his own, even while they sleep.”
(Psalm 127:2 CEV)
(Psalm 127:2 CEV)