The Laziness of Despair. The Nerve!

What? It takes much effort to despair. There is the resistance of asking the questions to break despair’s vice grip on this hand-cuffed free agent. To disengage in the tension of all there is to be tense about… that takes work. It takes energy to avoid the linear or circular arguments as to why things are the way they are. Lazy Mr. Merton?

That is like what my friend told me about loneliness. “Loneliness is ultimately selfish.” My first thought was don’t take my loneliness away from me. Ha. How selfish that sounds. Oh, the arrogance of island living. “No man is an island.” That was the parting phrase after that same friend dropped everything and listened to me gripe and grumble over unresolved tensions which clamored for my attention.

My wife, the one closest to me, labels it stubbornness. Despair has whittled me down to a stub on the inside. Oh, woe is me. I am victim, hear me whimper.

I suppose loneliness and despair are kissing cousins. A pair indeed. An undynamic duo nurturing any passive soul willing to engage in their auspices.

We are not lazy, my wife and me. Even now I am thinking about what I can physically accomplish this day. But personally I can clean the outside of the cup, spit shine it, straighten things up, but on the inside is a dank, musty ole grave. Stubborn. Selfish. Set in stone. My heart can continue to acquiesce to the lonely lazy despair or…

Look to a good God, who is Love, and operates in justice, mercy, and grace. Who holds my tension if I set it in His open palm… you know, the one with the hole in it.

Sound too simplistic? Well, just remember every island is surrounded by water, and if we walk long enough we will touch the edge of the water’s great expanses and be refreshed.

Prayer: Oh God, thank you that I am not too much for You. Thank you that my tension can be placed in your palm. Thank You that I am never alone, and hope is just a prayer away. Help those who find themselves in similar states of mind and give them grace to turn to You. Amen.


  1. rocksand5 says:

    I think it was Augustine who said “You can’t stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can keep it from building a nest in your hair.” I heard a sermon once that said though depression is not a sin, nursing it is. Oh how I could nurse my depression!
    I loved the third to last line about putting our stuff in God’s palm, the one with the hole in it. That’s a great line and advice! Your prayer is beautiful and I agree with it and say, AMEN!

    • Ah, Augustine…yep, depression is an old friend who invites me for coffee sometimes, and when I start sipping, Mr. D orders a seven course meal. Sneaky.

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