Our theme for the month is renewal and this month I challenge you to take a nap.  Seriously.  Make taking a nap a more regular practice than you have been.  Allow yourself to rest, to pause, and renew.


Rest is serious business.  When I was training to be a spiritual director one of our assigned readings was a book by a minister about rest as a spiritual practice.   Living in Texas for eight years I came to understand why some cultures develop the practice of siesta, pausing everything during the worst heat of the day and resuming life again after it cools down a bit.  Air conditioning and our consumer culture that has us produce at all costs and never waste a waking minute in the pursuit money, power, and fame have erased the nap from our day-to-day existence, and when it does dare to show up, it’s somehow a mark of failure. Either we didn’t get enough sleep at night or we’re slacking off. 


When I was in college, my friend Eric was the Editor-in-Chief of the student newspaper and wrote an editorial about napping.  I thought it was brilliant. And as he pointed out, the school library had one wall overlooking the quad that was all glass and in the heat of the day, the sun through those windows made it almost impossible to stay awake if you were trying to study there. 


Teresa Hersey, founder of the Nap Ministry (https://thenapministry.com/) reminds us that rest is resistance.   Her book, Rest Is Resistance, is “a call to action and manifesto for those who are sleep deprived, searching for justice, and longing to be liberated from the oppressive grip of Grind Culture.” The Jewish practice of Sabbath is an affront to the Pharaohs of the world who would have us be slaves (or wage slaves) as if enjoying life and rest were only a privilege for the wealthy.


So, my challenge to you this month is to work napping into your life a little more than you have been.  While resting, ponder how rest is an act of resistance and right of all people to have enough rest and opportunities for renewal.

As always, I’d love to know how you did with this challenge.