Inspired by some great conversations recently (thanks, Amy & Janelle), here is the beginning of a piece on acedia…
Have you seen those shirts that say, “I Can’t Adult Today”? Have you felt worn down by the constant choices of life in a broken world–how to respond, how to act, whom to believe–and wished you were a wild animal curled in its den, living by instinct with no burden of human will? Have you had days when you felt the overwhelming urge to run away…even though there was nowhere to run to?
Medieval Christians called this acedia, one of the seven deadly sins. It is usually translated “sloth” in English, but laziness is only one possible symptom–others include distraction, and even workaholism. It is a sadness of soul that leads to giving up and not caring. It is restlessness of the mind, and inability to be at peace in the center of your own soul. It is a wish not to be yourself, which turns down the life God has offered you. It is a step on the road to despair.
How do we fight acedia? What weapons have fellow Christians recommended for this fight?