It’s July, and it is incredibly hot outside.
Of course I don’t want to do anything. No one should have to do anything, except hold still, try to stay cool, somehow. Or at least, sweat less.
It’s summer and people are full of vacation plans.
People stop doing the “routine,” and go out adventuring instead. The family is going to the theme park, the lake, the reunion, the other side of the country!
The family is not going to church, to work, to school. Everybody it seems, wants a break.
Heck, I get it. I want a break too.
But I don’t usually want a very long break from my work, my church, my learning. What is really going on?
Could it be that I am being seduced? Seduced by that ancient sin known as “acedia”?
“Acedia” in our time is more commonly understood as apathy, indifference, not caring. I call it aimlessness. (And, no, it is not the same as depression.) It is found, Kathleen Norris tells me, in “much of the restless boredom, frantic escapism, commitment phobia and enervating despair that plagues us today.”
I recognize it now! I see it in my overwork that simply hides my fear of inadequacy from sight. It is in my bumbling around my office, “just puttering” on Facebook, or YouTube, or in idle conversation.
Ah yes! Acedia is why I claim the statement of faith of my denomination, the United Church of Christ. Because I am convicted by the line of prayer to God in that statement: “You seek in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin.”
Save me! Save me from the despair that hides inside escapism, boredom, selfishness and apathy!
I don’t want to be frantic, over busy and shrill. Save me from that too, dear God.
But save me, dear Lord, from the “aimlessness and sin” that quits caring, can’t be bothered that much, and just sits on the couch watching reruns. Save me from the laziness of a closed heart and a closed mind. Hear my sweaty prayer, I beg. Amen.
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- On this holiday, let’s vow to heal America - July 4, 2020
- We’ve heard you outside Planned Parenthood. Now will you listen to me? - March 3, 2020
- Jesus didn’t yell into the “echo chamber” - September 10, 2019
- Becoming a warming center because of people willing to help - December 21, 2018
- Raising Men Who Reject Toxic Masculinity - May 31, 2018
- Silence the anger and add forgiveness, mercy to the media conversations - April 10, 2018
- Viewpoints: Thanksgiving Traditions - November 29, 2017