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Ken Teegardin/www.SeniorLiving.Org

The aimlessness and sin of summer

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Ken Teegardin/www.SeniorLiving.Org
Ken Teegardin/www.SeniorLiving.Org

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.

About Andy CastroLang

Andy CastroLang is senior pastor at Westminster Congregational United Church of Christ. She is deeply committed to civil discourse between individuals and throughout our community; in interreligious conversation, private conversation, intergenerational conversation and yes, even in political conversation. She has been a supporter of SpokaneFaVS since its inception because she supports this creative effort at thoughtful community conversation.

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