The Sunday Afternoon Nap

by RevMark

Post image for The Sunday Afternoon Nap – Jon Cook

It’s been called the “after-church-crash”, the “production coma”, the “Sunday snooze” – it’s that nap enjoyed by many around the world after Sunday services are over. If you’re involved in serving at church, you know what I’m talking about. So, today we’re exploring the nature of this phenomenon: why it exists, what rules surround it, and how to make the most of it.

Why does it exist? 

It’s an interesting fact that while Sunday is often NOT the longest day of the week, it sure feels like it. If your church has one service, you might spend 3-4 hours there. Two services? Maybe 6-7 hours. Yet Sunday afternoon often feels like the end of an SAT cram session or marathon run. You just want to stare at the wall or count some blades of grass or… NAP!

I think it comes down to mental and physical energy expelled. I know I personally come away drained predominantly when that Sunday was either unusually intense with cues and unusual elements or if something went wrong. If we were down to the wire fixing something or generating troubleshooting solutions to a major problem, I just want to go lay in a pool of drool after it’s all over. Pastors, youth workers, volunteers in any capacity – I know you experience these same side effects often. We get up earlier than usual, our mindset and routinues are different than other days, and we give it all we have on Sunday. Our brains are in high gear as we try to make sure that everything is set and ready for when people arrive.

What are the rules?

Unfortunately, there are several rules involved in properly executing the Sunday afternoon nap. Many of these often prevent it altogether. Pay close attention so as not to commit a rookie break in nap etiquette.

Naps can only occur once you’ve completed your duties and arrived safely at home: No napping in the booth under the counter. Your drool may cause a short in the wiring. No napping in the car on the way home, especially if you’re driving!

  • Naps cannot take precedence over family obligations: Everyone who doesn’t serve on Sundays loves to book up Sunday afternoon as a great get-together day. How exciting!… While you may be screaming inside, smile and go to lunch with the fam. Of course, if this is immediate family, enjoy the time with your kids and spouse. Sneak off to take that nap ASAP once the obligation is over
  • Naps cannot interfere with evening church activities: Many of you still have Sunday night service. Don’t be napping at home when service is starting. This goes for special events on Sunday night as well. Set an alarm clock!
  • Naps SHOULD be taken immediately if home and acting cranky: if you’re sitting at home and acting all cranky, don’t prelong the inevitable – take that nap! Too often we say we’re going to, but get busy doing nothing (I’m looking at you TNT/TBS playing A Few Good Men) and don’t take that required nap. Take it and spare everyone the whine
How do I make the most of it?
There are several good options for properly executing the Sunday afternoon nap. Recommended procedures include:
  • laying on the couch: this can be done mouth open or closed, snoring or not, and with the option of leaving your black socks on
  • in your dark, cozy bedroom: a preferred place to drown out the sounds of the house and insure an uninterrupted time of refreshment. Beware of the time though. If you awake and it’s dark out, you may be in for a restless night, wishing you hadn’t overdone it.
  • in the armchair: options include a newspaper stuck to your face, or a nice imprint of your fist on your cheek when you awake
However you nap, nap well and enjoy the reward of your long Sunday efforts!
Do you take a nap on Sundays? Do you wish you could but can’t quite make it happen? Tell us about it in the comments!

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