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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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On those draggy days

Don't try to 'escape' boredom, learn from it

Best-selling author Sam Keen calls boredom "an equal opportunity employer." So it is in the dog days of August when we are stricken with the feeling that there's nothing new under the sun. In New York City, there are too many HHH (hot, hazy, humid) days. We get up and look around at the familiar people and objects and decide we need a change. But we lack the energy to move. The very air around our bodies feels heavy; we struggle to stay alert as the clock's hands reach noon.

This is the time of day many fourth century Christian monks dreaded. They had their own name for boredom — accedie: a loss of stamina and resolve, a feeling of vulnerability and discouragement, the experience of being stuck. For these believers, accedie had a double edge. It signaled danger, but it also was an opening for God's grace.


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April issue

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