the noonday demon…

Seek the wisdom that will untie your knot;
Seek the path that demands your entire being.

-Rumi

I love summertime. I love being outside, the heat from the sun soaking into my skin as I work in the garden or ow the grass. I love being on the lake, fishing with Jim, feeling that warmth all around me, like a hug. But there are times, when the sun is at its highest point overhead, that it can have a different affect on me. Sometimes, as the sun bears down, I get sleepy. I can’t concentrate on the task at hand. All I want to do is sleep.

In today’s world of “instant gratification”, it’s easy to experience what the Greek’s called, Acedia or the Noonday Demon. It was thought to be a demonic figure that was active at the noon hour that inclined its victims (usually monastics) to restlessness, excitability and inattention to their duties.

It’s easy today to become complacent or as it reads in the Book of Revelation, “So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”  With the hundreds of channels available to us, 24/7, on numerous devices and telephones that go with us everywhere (even the bathroom…yuk!), it’s easy to get lost or distracted from our goals, whether they are physical or spiritual.

Imagine you are beginning a trip. You are in a foreign country and you are going up into the mountains where there is no phone service. Your destination is a three day walk, as no cars can maneuver the terrain. Do you start out on your own?

One important part of any journey is self-assessment. Where am I starting from…where am I going? What are my limitations; my capabilities. Am I willing to commit what it takes to achieve my goal? What am I willing to sacrifice?

As you journey into 2020, my prayer for you is simply this: Find a guide. Someone who has negotiated the terrain and knows the obstacles. If it’s a physical goal, find a qualified fitness instructor. A career goal; someone who has achieved success in your chosen field. A personal goal; someone who has gone through similar experiences. A spiritual goal; someone who exemplifies those virtues that you are trying to attain.

So, awaken your senses. Go on your own pilgrimage. Find out who you are and where you want to go. Make a plan; and as the song says, “Just put one foot in front of the other.” And don’t forget to enjoy the journey within the journey.

Still around the corner, there may wait,
a new road or a secret gate.

-J.R.R, Tolkien

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