Feb. 18, 2016 Thursday: 1st Week of Lent
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." (Matt 7:7)
Acedia = "sloth" Acedia is a Greek word that names a state of languor or torpor, of unconcern or dissatisfaction with one's condition or action in the world. It's one of the 7 Deadly Sins in which one is tempted to become listless and inert, or begin longing to be elsewhere or to do something other than what they were doing.
Obstacles, problems, lack of initial and immediate success, unexpected situations encountered can all or individually generate the fear of failure which leads to acedia. Acedia is the prelude to the death of commitment.
Sometimes a work will never be attempted because imagined problems cause such acedia that success can never be imagined. What do you supposed could happen in a church if we did not suffer from corporate acedia. What would you be willing to attempt for God in your life if you were not afraid of failure?
If fear of failure could be cast out of mind and heart, what energy, commitment dedication, and singleness of purpose could prevail? How could this be done? The answer is, of course, to keep our lives focused on Jesus who, in the eyes of the world, was the most monumental failure. What looked like abject failure from any perspective was transformed by the resurrection into perfect accomplishment. That which looked like defeat and death was made in God’s providence, into victory and life.
If we were not afflicted by acedia, what might we dare for Jesus Christ: forgiving the unforgivable, loving the unlovable, involvement with those different than we, teaching the Gospel, witnessing to the faith, risking the day of self that we might live in Christ, heading a ministry group, holding an office in the church, volunteering, sacrificial giving of our money and – what else?
This Lent, ask yourself what you are not doing, nor trying, not even thinking of attempting because way down deep you fear failure. Then ask yourself what you would like to do for Christ in your wildest dreams if you could only be free of the acedia caused by the fear of failure.
Next ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that can happen if I try this?” In asking yourself, ask the same questions of God. Then, with God’s help fling off acedia, defy the risk of failure and go for it!
I heard a dear man once say; “We are not responsible ‘for’…we are responsible ‘to.’”