I was in a meeting recently and they made the mistake of feeding us a nice lunch after the morning session. Later, when the meeting resumed, I started getting sleepy and I fought with all my strength to stay awake. I would close my eyes for a moment, not wanting the others to know I was sleeping, and then, when my head would drop, jerk up wide eyed like there was nothing wrong with me. I pinched myself, slapped myself, then got up and got a cup of coffee, which did no good at all. As soon as I was seated again my eyes closed, my head would drop and the battle to stay awake would begin all over again. I was miserable and I can sympathize with the man in the following story.
Once, at a sweet little country church, there was a deacon who, whenever he was called on to pray, always began with a booming “Oh Lord, let us pray,” and always prayed a fiery and long winded prayer, but who simply would not stay awake during the service. He made no pretense of trying. Just as soon as the preacher would start whipping up on the Devil, the deacon’s head would drop and he would be dead to the world until it was time for the closing hymn and dismissal.
The preacher did not fail to notice this and it annoyed him to the point of distraction. He tried to spice up his sermons to see if that would keep the wayward deacon awake but all to no avail. Several of the good sisters in the church went on a mission to see the Brother and they lovingly chastised him for his failing to stay awake. “You are bothering the preacher and setting a bad example for the young folks,” they allowed. It had no effect on the deacon, however, for the following Sunday it was the same thing. The preacher started preaching and the good deacon’s head dropped.
Being the devout believer he was, Reverend TuTone Thomas began praying in earnest, believing the scripture where it says “The fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much,” and sure enough, the Lord intervened.
The Lord made a boy named Leon to overhear Sister Buvadine Smelmedge telling Leon’s mother about Deacon Harvey and his sleeping in church. The Lord, knowing Leon to be full of rebellion, positioned the boy right next to Deacon Harvey that next Sunday and sure enough, when the preacher started, the deacon’s head dropped. Leon waited until he was certain Deacon Harvey was deep asleep, then, during a lull in the sermon, bumped him in the ribs and said in a shrill whisper as in a warning, “Deacon Harvey, Preacher said dismiss us.”
At this, Deacon Harvey, still groggy and never bothering to look around, jumped up and in a booming voice said ‘Oh Lord, let us pray” and started a fiery petition to the Lord which lasted until the laughter caused him to stop. Needless to say, Deacon Harvey never dozed off in church again.
Who says God has no sense of humor? He made us, didn’t he!