acedia, boredom, collage, funk, listen, Monday musings, soul

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.

false
           facades

                         collapsing,

creating
unassuming
decisions
(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)

4 thoughts on “Acedia: Apathy or Boredom”

  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.

  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!Lynni

  3. Jody- I had forgotten about acedia as well…it 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!

  4. Lynni- Thanks for this resounding applause! I always have fun reading your comments. And you added a new word to my vocabulary…"ennui"…hmmm…how 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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