From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Friday, July 6, 2012

Heat: Can't beat it, might as well greet it

(The Lovin' Spoonful, 1965)
Even those armed to the hilt with air conditioning have got to occasionally step outside.  Those that do quickly rediscover that “hot town, summer in
the city” feeling.

However, your life might not be nearly as exciting as John Sebastian’s.  If that’s the case, these dog days might seem to stretch on forever.  In their
article, Dealing with Dog Days, Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat give tips for dealing with the boredom that can sometimes accompany times like these.  This isn’t just fidgety-type boredom, but rather the heavy-duty kind which the Oxford Concise Dictionary of the Christian Church calls acedia: “a state of restlessness and inability either to work or to pray.”

When acedia slithers up your spine, sucking marrow from your backbone, the Brussats recommend picking “one achievable goal” and sticking with it “until it’s done.”  Ah…  That feels a wee bit better - just enough to spark a bit of enthusiasm.  Enthusiasm:  the Brussats point out that it means to be at “one with the energy of God.”  It would then be wise to invest some of this God-energy into community service, thus offsetting some of the self-indulgent aspects of acedia.

No “greet the heat” discussion would be complete without a reminder to surrender.  In other words, “embrace what you think you can’t do, surprising yourself and giving God a new way to speak to you.”  In their article, Spiritual Practices for Hot Weatherthe Brussats also recommend this Zen approach: 
“…when hot be thoroughly hot.”   In other words, “become one with the environment” and welcome the heat wave “as a chance to slow down.”  When the back of your neck’s “feeling dirty and gritty,” be mindful that sweating can be as pleasurable as dancing to a Lovin’ Spoonful hit.


Copyright July 6, 2012 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

No comments:

Post a Comment