How to sleep during sermons whilst not discouraging the preacher
Some suggested methods....
- Glaze over. Does not allow you to close your eyes, but in all other important respects you can sleep. Probably best not to be on the front row for this one.
- Develop a habit of nodding your head, David-Gray-style, in order to infer agreement. Eyes may gradually come to a complete closure.
- Have a baby, and then time its feeds appropriately. Rather an extreme method unless you're already planning to have a family.
- Steal someone else's baby. Note: the child needs to be fairly young, and very compliant, or the opposite of sleep will occur.
- Slump forward, head in hands (or resting on pew in front). Only a viable option if it's not the sort of church where this is taken as a sign that you want 'ministry'.
- Shout 'Maranatha!' and prostrate yourself in front of the pulpit. Not one to try every week, but useful for special occasions, and very effective - it is possible to stay there for the duration of the service, as everyone will be too embarrassed or too awed to disturb you.
- Become the vicar. Gradually leave longer and longer significant pauses between points, during which it is quite possible to grab if not forty then at least ten winks. As you are the preacher, it is unlikely that you will become discouraged by this practice.
- Join the worship group, playing a large instrument that you can successfully hide behind whilst snoozing. Your choice will of course depend upon your body size and shape. Do not choose the piccolo.
- Develop an 'inconvenient' bowel habit that allows you to sit down somewhere nice and quiet for the duration of the sermon.
- Go on the church coffee rota, and take it so seriously that you need to put the kettle on at about the time the preacher stands up. Kitchens are generally nice warm places. On no account drink the caffeine until after a little nap.
Of course, I rarely need to use any of these methods, as the sermons at our church are invariably riveting and excellent (just in case the vicar reads this). But they do prove useful at the occasional wedding, licensing, ordination etc...