A place of rest. A haven of spiritual recharging. You know like when my spiritual battery is down, I just plonk my bum on a comfy pew and plug in and voila, battery is 100% charged again. That’s how I view the church.
But I have discovered a contrary view of the church as a place of total, absolute rest. Consistently. Sunday after sunday. I look around me and all I see are heads slanted differently, eyes half-closed, semi-closed and fully closed in the throes of sweet rest.
Insert deep sleep in place of rest and you’d get my drift.
Happens more when the sermon commences, the segment has become a lullaby for some.
And it really should be a place of rest, but not one of deep sleep. You know the type characterized by snoring and hitting one’s head on the next worshiper’s gele (headgear) or worse still knocking one’s head on the pew. Ouch.
Picture going to church radiant, bright-eyed in the morning and coming back worse, emptier, with blood-shot eyes and a bump.
Sleep: A natural periodic state of rest for the mind and body, in which the eyes usually close, nervous system is inactive, muscles relaxed and consciousness is completely or partially lost.
Rest: a bodily state characterized by minimal functional and metabolic activities; (b) Peace, ease, or refreshment resulting from sleep or the cessation of an activity
So rest does not necessarily translate to sleep as we can rest without sleeping. Copy that.
I believe the Sabbath day to be a day of rest even though there are varying opinion of what day the Sabbath should be and what activities it should constitute. It has a subjective definitions, like rest which is fine.
Now, sleep is good. Rest is great.
Granted some may doze off, no sleep in church due to fatigue, ill-health, boring service / sermon. But would it not benefit all concerned if one were to stay away and rest properly at home in the event of fatigue and illhealth?
And if consistently, the service proceedings / sermon have become so boring that sleeping on hard boards with the neck slanting in awkward positions seem a better option to listening, then would it not be beneficial to seek a more vibrant and spirit-filled enviroment to fulfill the Sabbath injunction like we have come to accept it to be? Qui?
Maybe the church has become a compulsory place to be every sunday morning, regardless of what the body, spirit, mind and soul says. Or it has simply become a gathering where attendance is necessary lest the brethren
translate the absence to be an indication of falling away from the flock.
Who are we really accountable to?
Get on the queue, sign the attendance register and settle down to the real business of the day…SLEEPING.
Check out a few men who dozed off when it mattered and what happened to them.
– Adam who fell asleep and woke up married and missing a rib.We know what followed;
– Samson who fell asleep and woke up very bald and beaten;
– Jonah who fell asleep in the boat and woke up wet;
– Eutychus who fell asleep during a sermon and ‘woke up’ dead.
When I leave home with all the comfortable beds and sofas and what nots to visit church, it is for a purpose my comfy beds cannot serve.
And when I’m there, I try to optimize / maximize the time spent there, makes sense? No?
If I feel beaten or fatigued, then I would rather rest on my luscious vitafoam – sleep in rather than go to church and lose on two fronts. Sleep on very uncomfortable seats in inconvenient positions that may give me cramps or aches later and still end up not picking any nuggets from my entire time in the church.
The sabath is really made for man and not man for the Sabbath and keeping the day is important but it takes nobody nowhere, methinks your heart and acts / deeds matter more.
I consider the foregoing and still ask myself and you, why would anyone torture himself / herself this way?