Letters of Life

How You Can Fight Off Spiritual Lethargy

Eversince moving out of my 10th floor aerie and moving under a family member’s roof a month ago, I sense that not only am I under a different authority, but that I’ve entered a different spiritual realm.

Ever felt that way when you stayed in a place that’s not your own for a spell longer than, oh, two weeks? Sometimes, the effects aren’t obvious, sometimes the same spirit rules in the house you’re lodging in and so everything’s status quo.

As the days unfurled, I found myself growing physically lethargic in my new surrounds. This is highly unusual because on the surface, it appeared that with one wave of the magician’s wand, my quality of life had improved spectacularly. I  no longer have to i) do heavy grocery shopping every three days, ii) tidy up rooms and living spaces, iii) plan, prepare, cook and clean up after meals, and iv) sort and do laundry daily.

What set off alarm bells about this growing lethargy was that I had ceased to do the things which I did religiously every day before I moved out, which include but are not limited to: 1) Reading God’s Word, 2) Using music to praise Him on the keys, 3) Journaling my thoughts in the quiet hour when all three scholars had left the house. Hm. Make that four.

Briefly, I blamed my laziness to practice the piano on my ill-disciplined nature. I blamed my daily schedule, which was now out of sync because I was unsettled. Then I started noticing the religious artefacts strewn around the house. These were of a different belief and therein lies the tension. Oh, I’d seen these things before, and one was lifesized even, but I did not anticipate that my spirit could, would, be lulled into a somnolent state, and that I was morphing into a 21st century lotus-eater* who, if she chose to sleep some more, would likely be stripped of her spiritual armour and weapons of war.

You would believe this if you read the 6th verse in the Book of Ephesians. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

If you, like me, have ever felt listless and not inclined to do Kingdom things that were once as regular as brushing teeth, try the following:

1. Worship. Praise the Creator of the universe with songs that will lift Jesus higher and consequently, your spirits. If you do this especially when you least feel like it, you will realise, like I did, that this is something we were made to do. In the mere obedience of the doing, we find our truest selves.

2. Distance yourself from the monkey chatter, from the vox humana playing the crazy carousel music of the virtual world.  Seek only one thing. To connect with our Lord and Saviour.

3. Read the Word out loud. As our Creator spoke suns, nebulas and galaxies into being, so there is a kind of creative power in the words we speak. The Gospel of John describes Jesus as the Word, and when you choose to speak the Word, you speak the name of Jesus.

So this is the way we do battle.

Paul puts it this way in his Second Letter to the Corinthians: “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds .  .  .” (2 Corinthians 10:3–4)

As a great thinker once wrote, “Onward and upward!”

[If you have other ways of combating this lethargy that stupefies the soul, do leave a comment.]

* In Greek mythology, the lotus-eaters (Greek λωτοφάγοι, lōtophagoi), were a race of people from an island near North Africa dominated by lotus plants. The lotus fruits and flowers were the primary food of the island and were narcotic and addictive,causing the people to sleep in peaceful apathy.

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