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I'll Be Glad When The Sermon Starts, I'm Getting Sleepy!

Aug 7, 2008
Even though I wasn't snoring, my wife hit me in the ribs with her elbow and hissed for me to wake up! With all the dignity I could summon, I whispered that I had not been asleep but was having a spiritual moment with God. He and I had been having a silent conversation, a dialogue that she had interrupted!

She gave me a look that spoke volumes and didn't bother to reply, but continued to listen to the preacher and his Sunday morning sermon. I've devoted a lot of time and study into this matter of nodding off in church! It's something that happens to everyone occasionally; some more than others.

Even the Apostle Paul had problems with folks falling asleep during his preaching. While he was speaking to the citizens of various towns and villages in Greece, he stayed for a week in the seaport city of Troas where he spoke to the people. He preached all day each day he was there. When his stay was ending, because he was leaving the next day he preached until midnight.

Acts 20:8-9 (NIV) "There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead."

The story doesn't end there. Paul went down to the man, threw himself on him, wrapped him in his arms and told the crowd not to be alarmed. "He's alive!" he cried. Then he went back upstairs broke bread and ate, then continued talking until daylight. This is a story I can understand and empathize with the young fellow who had dozed off in mid-message.

I believe that God has selected me for special duty during our preacher's message to his flock. My level of attentiveness to a sermon is a barometer of how well that sermon is being received. I feel it's my responsibility to allow my mind and body to relax and enjoy the worship experience to its fullest, even nodding off if the occasion demands.

I've reported to my pastor on several occasions that his sermon was so good I stayed awake during the entire message! Unfortunately I've also have had to tell him a couple of times that he started well, but lost me near the end.

My own form of reverence comes from my brain shutting out all forms of outside interruption and allowing me to more closely bond with God. My wife's not buying this explanation for my momentary lapses of consciousness, even though I think it's a pretty good answer, and somewhat truthful.

There are two kinds of sermons: Those that are inspired by God and those inspired by the preacher himself. I don't admit to being righteous enough to always discern the difference, but sometimes there's no doubt as to whom was behind the message. When my heart believes the sermon is inspired by the Creator Himself, I have no trouble being attentive and not get the least bit drowsy! I have this triggering mechanism that make eyelids heavy and my breathing slower when I perceive that God has left the premises.

We're abundantly blessed by silver tongue orators who can sound like they've just come from God himself and He's anointed them to single handedly run the devil back to hell where he belongs. Somehow the smoother the speaker the harder it is to stay awake. It's almost painful! I've had to pinch myself, wiggle my toes and fingers, open my eyes as wide as possible, slide my foot out of my shoe and stomp on it hard in order to keep awake!

Many folks wander around aimlessly, trying desperately to discover what God wants them to do. I'm blessed because I know that when I doze in church, I'm doing God's work. I know my pastor appreciates me having this heavenly gift!
About the Author
Bob Alexander is well experienced in outdoor cooking, fishing and leisure living. Bob is also the author and owner of this article. Visit his sites at:
http://www.redfishbob.com
http://www.homeandgardenbob.com
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