The frenzy of our activism

As we move into the darkest day of the year (in the northern hemisphere, that is), as our world hunkers down as we await a vaccine and the ‘end’ of this pandemic, and as the day of the incarnation of Christ approaches…

I want to shift gears to the tone of sabbath. Of rest. Of withdrawing and unplugging.

I pray that you’re in a place where you can embrace the longer nights instead of being burdened by them. In Denmark, they call it the ‘duvet of darkness’ seeing the darkest time of the year as a comforting blanket that gives much-needed rest from the constant activity of life (and if they need it in Denmark, we DEFINITELY need it in the US).

The first thing I want to share with you is a passage written by the late contemplative writer and monk, Thomas Merton…

There is a pervasive form of contemporary violence… [and that is] activism and overwork. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence.

To allow oneself to be carried away by the multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to violence.

The frenzy of our activism neutralizes our work for peace. It destroys our own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of our own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.

I hope you enjoy meditating on that as I am this blessed Advent season.

Grace + Godspeed,
Jonas

To get my daily(ish) short notes in your handy dandy email inbox, click here to subscribe to The Jonasletter.

Written by

Writer. Mystical-Minded Lutheran Theologian. Super hard to write with this plank in my eye. | Daily(ish) email newsletter at jonasellison.substack.com/

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store