I have a bit of a hobby that I have indulged in all of my Orthodox life. I love to find things in secular culture that are actually true and sensible. I have lists of these things squirreled away in some GoogleDocs document, for later publishing on this BLOG. There are song lyrics, advertising slogans, and more than a few of my own sayings. Those who know me would expect to see a Neil Young lyric or two, and they would not be disappointed.
Here is one of those things – a secular saying that has an Orthodox application.
“JUST DO IT” is a slogan for Nike shoes. It is good advice, if one reads it in the right way.
I have modified it somewhat in my own life, when I am confused and/or lazy and/or overwhelmed and/or suffering from a day which is not very spiritual, and I cannot quite figure out how to get it that way. Has anybody had this sort of day?
My modification is: “Do something!” This idea has served me well, and I advise my flock to also “Do something!” because it is sound spiritual advice. We may not pray as well as we should, but at we should at least pray! We may not had a productive fast day, but we can at least fast! The key is to do something, and not do nothing. Something, in the spiritual life, is always better than nothing.
Here is this same idea, expressed by a church father:
…”A thought comes to me which troubles me and does not leave me free, but not being able to lead me to act, it simply stops me progressing in virtue; but a vigilant man would cut it off and get up to pray.” Abba Theodore of Scetis
Perhaps the perfection of the phrases “Just do it!” Or “Do something!” would be: “GET UP AND PRAY!” Good related advice would be “Even if you have already been up for a long time and have not prayed, GET U P AND PRAY!
I read the quote from an excellent resource: “A Word from the desert” I receive it in email, but prefer it in my RSS Reader (I use Google) I highly recommend that you get into the habit of reading these daily quotes. Subscribe to the RSS feed from this page: http://wordfromthedesert.squarespace.com/meditations/