Fighting Naptime

In college we used to say, “Study, party, sleep—but you only have time for two of the three.” Win (short for Winston), a biology major, was as sleep-deprived as the rest of us. He said that when he was little, he resisted naps but his mother made him take them. Now, as a student staying up past midnight to count fruit flies for research, and later as an MD/PhD candidate, and later still during medical residency, he wanted naps more than ever but couldn’t have them.

As a five-year-old, Win once escaped his bedroom window during naptime. Somehow, he had matches. His mother (dear woman!) thought he was napping, but actually he was testing matches in the hill behind his house—the La Canada foothills of Southern California’s San Gabriel Mountains. (Think hot, brown, and dry.) In the end, they had to call the fire department but did avoid an out-of-control wildfire. If only little Win had taken his nap.

When I was a child, I fought naps like a child. Now I am an adult, and I take my rest.

Or do I?

God has told his people,
“Here is a place of rest;
let the weary rest here.
This is a place of quiet rest.”
But they would not listen.

(Isaiah 28:12)

God invites His worn and weary people to rest. He even specifies: “This is a resting place!” He offers, invites, even commands us to His rest and refreshment. Yet how often do I refuse what my weary soul and tired body needs? Like a stubborn toddler refusing nap time in a tantrum, I “would not listen.” Then I continue throughout the day (or days) even crankier than before because, having deprived myself of rest, I am running on low and running out.

Why does the toddler refuse and scorn rest? He doesn’t want to “miss out” on the day or its activities. Am I like this child? In my pride and illusion of self-sufficiency, do I think I don’t need the rest?

Father, forgive me for scorning the rest you provide and invite me into. Teach me to receive Your rest.

Byron Sharman, age 4 days

(Next week: Where is this place of quiet rest?)

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4 thoughts on “Fighting Naptime

  1. My mother had a ploy she used with all three of her sons, none of whom liked taking a nap. “Just rest your eyes,” she’d say. “You don’t have to fall asleep.” Worked every time. One day I looked at her and said, “But if I rest my eyes I’ll fall asleep.” She told me later she knew then I had cracked the code.

  2. I had to laugh at Glynn’s comment. He was a good little boy. My son would not play along on that one! :)

    Yes, I love good sleep now. Learning to just put myself to sleep as a “big” girl now, too. Love this analogy, Monica!

  3. I love naptime. Only now, I feel guilty for indulging. The kind of rest I need doesn’t always involve closing my eyes, though. During this season I try to slow…give up some of the things that make me hurry. It is one of the hardest things I do. Why is that? Why is it hard to receive Him this way? A good thing to contemplate today.

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