United Church of Christ

Noonday Demon

God will cover you with their feathers, and under God’s wings you will find refuge. … You will not fear the terror of night…nor the plague that destroys at midday.” Psalm 91:4-6 (NIV)

I am writing this on Monday morning. The work week is just beginning. Life seems full of possibility. If the usual pattern holds, that feeling should last another 4 hours or so.

By 10, when the to-do list has been built and the calendar filled in, the crushing weight of the work will come flooding back in, and I’ll be ready to run and hide.

Early Christian monastics called that noonday demon, acedia, which Thomas Aquinas later defined as “sadness about spiritual good” and “disgust with activity.”

You know, that feeling that everything you thought was good about the work you’ve given your life to is actually garbage? And oh, so is everything else, so what’s the point anyway?

No? Just me?

If anything like this has ever happened to you between the hours of 10 and 2, if you’ve been gripped by self-doubt and felt the overwhelming urge to run and hide, Psalm 91 says, “Go for it!”

Hide away. Take refuge. Imagine God as a big ol’ bird with wings the wind can’t penetrate and a cuddly down chest you’re snuggled up against. If you work from home, crawl under your comforter for full effect.

(Also, maybe grab a snack. Because, blood sugar…)

Hear God’s words from a few verses later, “Call on me, and I will answer you; I will be with you in trouble. I will deliver you.” And when you’re ready, crawl back out and give it another try. At least until tomorrow.

Prayer
At midday, and evening, night, and early morning, I take refuge in you.

dd-vinceamlin.jpgAbout the Author
Vince Amlin is co-pastor of Bethany UCC, Chicago, and co-planter of Gilead Church Chicago, forming now.

Please review our Community Guidelines before posting a comment. If you have any questions, contact us.