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SANCTIFYING SLOTH
December 31, 2005
 
I am so lazy, this week between Christmas and New Year's. After weeks of cooking and baking, wrapping and packing; singing, preaching and writing, all I want to do is not much. I want to stay home. I drink an entire pot of tea. I find myself still in my bathrobe and slippers, long after Q is dressed and shod and out.

At this time of year, I remind myself nothing so much as a sloth. At this time of year, I admire them greatly. It can take a sloth all day to climb down from his tree. So why bother, they think -- sometimes they survive for weeks on the algae that clings to their fur to avoid having to move around and find leaves. They give birth in the trees because they're too lazy to come down, and because a snail could easily outrun them.

I do go and exercise faithfully, and feel excellent while I am there and afterwards, so I probably will not die from the effects of this annual attack of sloth. But my energy doesn't last; I do a few errands and return to my cocoon as soon as I can. A heavy travel and speaking schedule awaits me in the new year; perhaps this hibernation is my animal way of storing energy for the airports and trains and podiums in my near future.

Or perhaps it is the dark. I should get one of those lights that are supposed to arm us against Seasonal Affective Disorder. That would be excellent; I could absorb my bright light lying down.

Or maybe I should not get one of those lights. Maybe I should just revel quietly in my week of sloth, and find ways to consecrate it. Because it won't last. A new year begins tomorrow.
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O God of peace, you have taught us in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and confidence shall be our strength: By the might of your spirit lift us, we pray, to your presence, where we may be still and know that you are God.
A Prayer for Quiet Confidence,
Book of Common Prayer
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