Lost That Loving Feeling

Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield, The Righteous Brothers

Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield, The Righteous Brothers

The powerful voices of Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield, The Righteous Brothers, pound in my brain. “You’ve lost that lovin’ feeling, oh-oh-oh, that lovin’ feeling; Baby, you’ve lost that lovin’ feeling and it’s gone, gone, gone.”

Our small group has been reading Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus by Kyle Idleman. In a chapter called Passionate Pursuit, he discusses a concept I haven’t heard for years–acedia. That’s a Latin word usually translated as sloth–one of the “seven deadly sins.”

Like Idleman, I pondered why “sloth” was one of those sins. It just didn’t seem to fit. Then I read the Desert Fathers writings and came across John Climacus (or St. John of the Ladder) who wrote The Ladder of Divine Ascent. This great book from the 7th century describes for the early monastic movement what emotions to overcome on your Divine ascent, and he devotes a lot of space to acedia (uh-see-dee-a).

You have been pursuing something with great passion. Your girl friend / boy friend. Your profession. Your sport. A deeper Spiritual life. You think you cannot live without the object of your pursuit.

Then, something happens. Usually a little at a time other cares start to impinge on your mind, emotions, energy. You don’t seem to care as much. Don’t devote so much time.

Then Bill and Bobby are singing your song–You’ve lost that loving feeling.

Passion is used often these days to describe oneself. Once in an editorial I wrote about being passionate about automation and manufacturing (I still am, by the way). A friend wrote that she is a “passionate communicator.” (and she is). So many people begin something with great passion and then wither–like the seeds scattered on thin soil that Jesus describes that sprout fast and then wither in the sun.

If you’ve lost that lovin’ feeling in your Spiritual quest, there are ways to get it back. You begin by getting back into the Spiritual Disciplines. Read The Bible or a devotional every day. Meditate and Pray every day. Worship and Celebrate with your Jesus-follower friends. Remember why you were first in love. Stir up the embers in the fireplace and add some new kindling. Get the fire roaring again.

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