‘WHO’S DROWSY?’ (Lk 21:34-36): 01 December 2007 (Saturday)
Jesus today warns us against drowsy hearts. That’s a strange and almost funny image, isn’t it? But it should be easy enough to imagine what the Lord means. He mentions carousing, drunkenness, and daily anxieties as possible causes. These are things that keep us from doing what’s right, and from recognizing the Lord in our lives. To recognize the Lord requires a fully alert heart; to follow him demands a self-disciplined heart.
The medieval mystics have another term for this “drowsiness of heart”: “acedia” or sloth, one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Sloth means spiritual apathy or laziness. But I think today we have an even more familiar term for it. It’s a complaint we hear all the time these days (even from five year olds!): Boredom. How easily we get bored these days! How quickly we yawn and turn away, thinking to ourselves, “Been there, done that! What’s new?” and all the while, telling ourselves how cool we are not to be so easily pleased or satisfied.
Boredom can be a dangerous thing because it’s a symptom of having a drowsy heart. When we’re bored, we are unable–or refuse–to be caught by surprise because we think we’ve seen it all. When we’re bored, we make ourselves incapable of the sensitivity and the vigilance required to recognize the hidden Lord.
So maybe that’s one simple thing we can do today. Just for today, let us refuse to let anything bore us. Just for today, let’s try to look at the world with a little more wonder, a little more awe, and a little less drowsiness, even if the world has grown a little too familiar to us. For all we know, God is there hiding in the most ordinary of things, and a valuable grace awaits us wrapped in the most boring of routines. Just for today, can we refuse to get bored?