August 21, 2006
Doing My Part by Doing Nothing
Word from two blogs I frequent and the New York Times, no less, is that people have lost the will to take vacation. Read the NYT article here.
Finally, I'm countercultural! I'm going on vacation next week. I'll get to see a good friend I haven't seen in a while, I'll visit a family member we see only occasionally, and I'll eat myself silly on a big ole boat. Mildly embarrassing, but oh so tasty.
I understand the inner compulsion to stay at one's desk, of course. By all rights I should be home from work by now, but here I sit, typing madly away about resting. Meanwhile, the work keeps piling up, the minutes keep whirring past, and my compulsion to prove my worth keeps nipping at my heels.
The church has forever warned against sloth, but it's also warned against the self-exaltation that takes place when we see ourselves as indispensible. The apostle Paul may have written to the Thessalonians that if you don't work, you don't eat, but the prophet Moses wrote to the world that we're to remember the sabbath and keep it holy, just like God does.
Frederick Buechner defines sloth as distinct from laziness:
A lazy man, a man who sits around and watches the grass grow, may be a man at peace. His sun-drenched, bumblebee dreaming may be the prelude to action or itself an act well worth the acting. A slothful man, on the other hand, may be a very busy man. He is a man who goes through the motions, who flies on automatic pilot. Like a man with a bad head cold, he has mostly lost his sense of taste and smell. He knows something's wrong with him, but not wrong enough to do anything about. Other people come and go, but through glazed eyes he hardly notices them. He is letting things run their course. He is getting through his life.
So next week I'll be working on my senses of taste and smell. When I get back, if you're good, I'll answer your e-mails.