Give me my scallop-shell of quiet,
My staff of faith to walk upon,
My script of joy, immortal diet,
y bottle of salvation.
My gown of glory, hopes true gauge,
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.

~Sir Walter Raleigh

A hiker, walking for pleasure, likes to choose between several alluring trails.
The pilgrim desires only the road that leads home.

~Frank W. Boreham

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sloth and Tepidity

Reading from an ancient text this morning, my mind-travel came full stop when these words appeared. 'Sloth' always conjures up the image of that unattractive creature hanging upside down from a branch. Spiritually speaking presenting an appearance to avoid at all cost at all times.

But 'tepidity' - that's not a word found often in our vocabulary. While a funny seeming word for today's usage, it certainly apt and has its profound spiritual application. This is not a characteristic that is pleasing. Tepid, lukewarm, nausea producing and wholly displeasing, disgusting to the Father.

Sloth and tepidity - not to be seen in the individual, not to be found in the Church.

The text continues:

It is time now to rise from my sloth and tepidity.
Today I will obey God's voice,
No longer will I harden my heart.
O God! Teach me Thy fear.
May I work while it is yet day,
"for the night cometh when no man can work."
May I run in Thy ways while I have the light of life,
lest the darkness of death seize me.

It always comes down to either/or: sloth and tepidity or obedience, working and running.
It is either the light of life in the soul or the darkness of death.

Not always easy.

But rousing, rising obedience is the rule of conduct, of life, of pilgrimage.