Sunday, November 19, 2017

Weariness

"Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour [high noon] " (John 4:6)

I have a well-established circadian rhythm. I'm good for the first six to eight hours of the day, but from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. I'm toast. 

I'm in good company, however: I read somewhere that animals, plants and even fungi have a few bad hours every day. 

I'm inclined to feel guilty about my weariness. Shouldn't I be doing something useful: studying, writing, teaching, counseling? Is my apathy a sign of spiritual acedia?

Not necessarily.

Some years ago a few of my friends began wearing bracelets bearing the initials "WWJD," an acronym for "What would Jesus do?" I ask myself, what did Jesus do when he was weary? 

Well, on at least on one occasion, he passed up an opportunity to go into the city of Samaria with his disciples to heal the sick and raise the dead. He stayed by a well outside of town and rested. 

And Jesus wasn't eighty-four years old!

I've always been intrigued by the story of Elijah sitting under his little broom tree. Over-adrenalized by his encounter with the Baal priests on Mount Carmel, frightened out of his wits by the contract Jezebel put on his life, he fled into the desert where the Angel of the Lord found him, weary, dispirited and ready to take his own life.

And what did the Angel of the Lord do? Chide him for his lethargy? No, he fed him a square meal and put him to sleep (1Kings 19:4-8).

Sometimes, the most spiritual thing we can do is to take a nap. 

This weariness of mine, may it not come 
From something that doth need no setting right? 
Shall fruit be blamed if it hang wearily 
A day before it perfected drop plumb 
To the sad earth from off its nursing tree? 
Ripeness must always come with loss of might. 
The weary evening fall before the resting night.

—George MacDonald

David Roper

11.19.17

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