Acedia. Me. And You.

bobby posting:

The way I see it, there are two different types of people in this world.

How many times have you heard that?  And it’s always two different, different types of people.  Are the people who are half-full the same as the people who prefer their Pop-Tarts un-toasted?  What about the people who never text and drive and the people who really don’t care for dessert?  Same folks?  Makes my head spin.

That being said, I have another set of two different types of people in the world:

1 / People who have no regrets.  Who are content with the way their life has played out.  Who learned from their struggles and hardships and are all the better for it.  Who keep moving forward.

2 / People who desperately want to change things.  Who want to hit the reset button.  Who have played it all out and are crying for a “do-over”.   Who hated learning the hard way and yearn for a new innocence.  Who long to go backward.

– –

I’m several pages into a new book, The Wisdom of Stability, and it has me thinking about returning to my roots.  I left Arkansas in 2002, primarily for college.  But the secondary reason, to see the world, was not too secondary.  I knew since I was a little kid that I wanted to experience life away from home.  When it came time, I didn’t even apply to a single in-state school.  Nothing within even 5 hours of home.  I was ready to go.

But in 2008, after years away, home came calling once again.  And home I came.  And home is certainly where my heart is.  Even if I find my heart wandering every now and then.

– –

In my book today, I came across a word I didn’t know.  Acedia.  Uh-SEE-dee-uh.  I love words.  Especially new ones.  And when I find one I’m not familiar with, I search for the meaning.  And for meaning beyond meaning.  I found some great writing by none other than Kathleen Norris (I strongly recommend it) that really made the word come alive to me.  Like an arrow piercing somewhere deeper within.  I had just shared this thought and idea of restlessness the day before with Taido.  But this word, acedia, not only clarified my current state, it magnified it.  This was no easy demon to dismiss.  Norris writes:

The early Christian monks regarded acedia as one of the worst of the eight “bad thoughts” that afflicted them. It was ranked with pride and anger, as all three have the potential to lead people into deep despair. Acedia in particular could shake the very foundations of monastic life: once a monk succumbed to the notion that his efforts at daily prayer and contemplation were futile, life loomed like a prison sentence, day after day of nothingness. In a similar way, acedia can make a once-treasured marriage or vocation seem oppressive and meaningless.

Nothing in my life seems oppressive and meaningless.  And I mean that.  But I can certainly see how seeds could be planted.  Quickly and deeply.  I’ll share those thoughts with you tomorrow.  How walking down one path for a while can cause you to look over your shoulder.  To wonder if you took the wrong turn.  To forget to even look at the road you’ve chosen.  In all of its goodness.  In all of its possibility.

Maybe you’ve been there before.  Maybe seeds are being planted in you right now.  Maybe you’re further down than I can imagine.  Either way, I’m hoping a little digging will uproot any growth that’s already found soil.

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