Acedia - My greatest personal concern

There are a number of things that I am weary of.  For instance, I am deeply concerned that the energy that I have for ministry will pass away as I get older.  I am concerned that any hint of creativity will pass away as I move into my 60's and beyond.  I am concerned that there will be a time for which I will not have the courage I need to do what I am called to do.  

Of all those many concerns, the concept of acedia is by far my most pressing and thought saturating.

I ran across this little bit from Spirituality for Ministry by Urban T. Holmes III.  Most of this is a direct quote, but there are some changes - I use the word minister while Holmes uses pastor/priest.   

The besetting sin of the desert fathers was acedia, or accidie, tellingly described as “the devil of the noonday sun.”  Acedia is spiritual boredom, an indifference to matter of religion, or simple laziness.  The ancient sin of acedia lies at the root of the minister’s refusal to heed the calling to be the instrument of spiritual growth. 

American religion is obsessed with the “warm sins” such as illicit sex and gluttony.  Because many of us are Donatists – believing that the validity of the sacrament depends upon the moral character of its minister, which was condemned as heresy long ago – we become inordinately concerned when the warm sins are committed by the ordained.  The sins that should concern us far more deeply are those that prevent the ordained from ever exercising their spiritual vocation.  These “cold sins” truly violate the mission of the minister to be a symbol, symbol-bearer, and hermeneut.  They rise not from an excess of passion, but from a fear of passion.  They are the product of a calculated apathy, sustained only by the embers of a dying soul.  

Acedia is the root sin of the clergy as spiritual guides.  Like cancer that eats away at our abandonment to the love for God and God’s creation.  It takes a number of forms, which have much in common with those of the centuries but also have their own peculiar twist in our times.

How does one keep from falling out of love with growing and maturing?  Acedia seems to transcend religion or tribe connection.  I have seen if have an impact with the Christian and the Agnostic and the Atheist.  I have seen acedia control the lives of the old (many of whom are just waiting to retire or die) as well as the lives of the young (many of whom spend hours playing video games or watching MTV trash).  

Life seems far too short, far too fragile and far to beautiful to be caught up in the trappings of acedia, and yet many of us (I count myself first and foremost) suffer under the oppression of acedia.  

‘I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth. - Revelation 3