I’ve been paying too much attention to the news the last few weeks. That can get depressing, you know? Those old seven deadly sins (pride, greed, envy, wrath, sloth, gluttony, lust) keep on showing up in the headlines, over and over.
When will they ever go away? It’s enough to make a person feel like it’s all too much. Why not just stop caring, stop trying, stop working to make a difference in the world? It’s not like one average person can make anything change, so why try–phooey.
That, by the way, would be the spiritual fault called acedia (uh-see-dee-uh). Some people describe it as a spiritual illness. Author Kathleen Norris wrote about it in her 2008 book, “Acedia and Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer’s Life.”
But back to our disgust with the onslaught of misery in the daily papers. How do we keep ourselves from slipping from disgust into despair?
Fake it ’til we make it
Gratitude. Gratitude cultivated, recognized, expressed and acted on. The ways we show gratitude and act on it are the ways we actually do make a difference in the world.
Sometimes it’s hard to find something to be grateful for–but we can fake it ‘til we make it. Find a weed in the yard? Thank God for the good earth that brings forth both wheat and weeds–and then pull it up. The cats start squabbling over who gets the sunny spot? Thank God for the warmth of the sun–and then separate the complainers.
We Lutheran women have a particular way of acting on gratitude–Thankofferings. Is your congregation or women’s organization organizing a Thankoffering service this year? Take part. Help out with the arrangements, even. If not, you can still take part by making your Thankoffering gift online or by mail.
Thank you. You really do make a difference in the world, you know. Please never think that you don’t–because you do. Thank you.
Your gifts to Women of the ELCA Thankofferings make our resources, scholarships and publications possible. Please give generously. Thank you.
Give online or mail your check to:
Women of the ELCA
Gift Processing Center
P.O. Box 1809
Merrifield, VA 22116-8009