Monday, February 11, 2013

Acedia: Apathy or Boredom

Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance. 
(Psalm 42:5 NKJV)

I woke up in a funk. I didn’t want to read or pray. I didn’t want to bundle up and go out for a walk. I didn’t want to do anything. So, I just sat on the couch.

I can’t quite remember how I got up off the couch and over to my blue thinking chair. I think it was God reminding me to take care of myself. I did a mini collage, looked at my previous collages, and scribbled a poem using words found within the collage.


(or quince frescoes).

This made me smile. And it made me think. What false facades do I need to let collapse? When I do, what will this create? Unassuming decisions? What does that mean? Or would I prefer to create “quince frescoes”? Sometimes just being silly and creative can get me out of a funk.

This little exercise rejuvenated my desire to sit and listen. I listen by reading and journaling.

I browsed one devotion and then another, then responded in my journal, where I confessed to God that this time of year just does not motivate me.

I like to talk and rant and complain. God invites me to listen. In my listening time, as I often do, I picked up the dictionary. I wanted to know what it meant to listen. The three entries in my pocket dictionary outlined a handy action plan for listening.

1. Make an effort to hear.

A simple first step, if I am going to listen, I have to make an effort. I have to open my ears. Place myself in the presence of the One I desire to hear. Open the Bible, uncap the pen, listen as one being taught and given words for the weary. (Isaiah 50:4)

2. Pay attention.

Once my listening ears are tuned in, I have to pay attention. Record what I think I’m hearing, ask God questions, and clarify with the Holy Spirit as to where He is leading for the day. (Isaiah 28:23)

3. Take notice of and act on what is said.

And finally, once I’ve noted what has been said; act on it.  Of course, this is a lot easier said than done. As I listened to God invite me to take care of myself, this prompted me to get out of the blue chair, bundle up in some warm clothes and take a walk on this sunshine laden day. When I returned, my funk was gone. I was ready for some more listening. (James 1:25)


  1. First of all, I like being reminded of words I forgot I knew 'acedia' being one of them.
    Second, I rejoice with you that you let yourself get nudged towards God and to his beautiful outside creation...So worth the effort, eh? and that's an encouragment to us.

    1. Jody- I had forgotten about acedia as was mentioned in one of my devotions as a besetting sin of the desert fathers...and encouraged me to pray for deliverance from spiritual boredom or apathy. Yes being outdoors always draws me closer to the Creator!

  2. I love Jody's comment about words, and I agree that you have a marvelous way of rescuing perfectly appropriate, thought-provoking words from deliberate desuetude. Good for you. I think when people dumb down our vocabulary, it follows that our thinking gets dumbed down, too! (Remind me to find that Madeleine L'Engle quote on this subject)! I think a big part of listening is obedience, captured in your last definition. And I loved that collage helped you find new insights. It is amazing what I have discovered through this personal art form--that and journaling--all under the umbrella of reading and discerning from God's Word. Wow!--that comment on facades collapsing--I ran across something the other day with that idea from the journal I wrote last summer. I'll have to find that, too. Kel, this post did anything but elicit ennui from moi!

    Well done!

    1. Lynni- Thanks for this resounding applause! I always have fun reading your comments. And you added a new word to my vocabulary..."ennui" can I incorporate it into one of my next blogs :) Collage is such an amazing tool for discovery and creativity. I look forward to the quotes and more dialogue over the Word!


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