By anguillian October 12, 2015 11:06 Updated


There seems to be a great deal of lethargy among our people. Many simply “go through the motions” day in and day out, caring little about what is happening around them. The churches, too, seem to exist with little zeal or progress. People just seem to be asleep to the things that really matter in their lives and that of their country.

What has caused this indifference and lethargic state among our people? Where have our sensibilities gone? Why has lethargy gripped our souls? Why are we behaving so mentally confused, stunned and defenseless? My people, unless something happens soon, we will surely fall into a “coma”.

There is absolutely no need for that to happen, my people. History has taught us that we are a resilient people, a people who often beat the odds. So wake up! Awake from your lethargy, my people! The word of God reminds us that waking up spiritually means that we are no longer unaware of the gradual disintegration that is taking place within us or around us. Instead, we wake up in the power of his strength because with him we can defy all odds and obstacles.

Arise and be vigilant about the many tasks before you, my people. There are national issues at hand that call for your attention and action. Now is not the time to sleep or play dead. Your country needs you now more than ever before in its history. It is time for each one of us to look within and around us. Look at the issues that confront us and forget the personalities which seem to blind us.

Jesus oftentimes warned his disciples to “Beware, keep alert.” And He, no doubt, is calling on us to do the same today. The Apostle Paul also felt the need to exhort the brethren in Rome to awake from sleep, as he knew the many dangers ahead. So too, there are many dangers ahead for us as a people, if we keep being indifferent and complacent about the issues in our land.
Jesus cautioned his disciples to stay awake. He knew their propensity to be plagued by drowsiness. He admonished them to do so in the garden of Gethsemane, on the last Thursday night before His crucifixion. Jesus felt burdened and asked His disciples to pray with Him. They did for a little while. But then they fell asleep. You know the story. You know what happened. Let us not be caught unawares!

Another story about the danger of sleeping can be found in Acts 16:27 – the night when Paul and Silas, two of the early church leaders, were thrown into prison. There was an earthquake that broke their chains and opened the cell doors. The keeper of the prison was asleep at the time, and recognizing his blunder was about to kill himself. Fortunately, for him, the apostles didn’t escape and so saved the man’s life. Hence, if we expect to stay alive spiritually we must not allow ourselves to fall into spiritual lethargy.
So, what is it about this tendency of the disciples to doze off? Why is it that Jesus warns us about it so explicitly? The early church mothers and fathers, those holy people who settled in the sands of Egypt, recognized this tendency in themselves and their community.

They saw this tendency to “fall asleep” as a kind of creeping lethargy that sapped the vitality and energy not only of their individual selves but of their community as well. So clear were they about its presence that they gave it a name: the noonday demon. For it was at that hour that distraction and disinterest most often came creeping, doing its best to convince the monk that the life of devotion to God was a ridiculous pursuit, full of nothing but tedium. This noonday demon is life sapping and leads to lethargy – to a kind of a paralysis of the soul.

This noonday demon now seems to be amongst us also, and it is seemingly doing its best to convince us that living a life of faith really takes too much work and it really is not worth the effort. It seems to be lulling us into believing that things are really not going to change, so why bother? That prayer does nothing. That the problems of Anguilla are far too vast for us to do much about them so, after all, what is the point? What’s the point, of saying or doing anything? Just hush your mouth and mind your own business. That seems to be the state and mindset of the people these days. And this tendency to doze off – this pull towards lethargy – has affected our life as a nation as well.

As a people, we seem to be struggling to find meaning and purpose in our lives. In our dislocation of ourselves, and the increasing isolation of ourselves, we seem to be turning in upon ourselves and filling up the ache in our hearts with the latest quick fix – shopping, working, eating or drinking too much. We need to awake from our slumber and shake ourselves to wake up. Be aware and stay alert because there is much work to be done. The issues are many but they are not insurmountable. We need to tackle them one at a time. It is my prayer that God grants us the will and the heart to work, and the courage and mental fortitude we need to do what needs to be done for Anguilla!

May these words be a source of inspiration to us:
God of grace and God of glory, on your people pour your power;
Crown your ancient church’s story, bring its bud to glorious flower.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the facing of this hour,
For the facing of this hour.

Lo! the hosts of evil round us scorn the Christ, assail his ways!
From the fears that long have bound us, free our hearts to faith and praise.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the living of these days,
For the living of these days.

Cure your children’s warring madness; bend our pride to your control;
Shame our wanton, selfish gladness, rich in things and poor in soul.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, lest we miss your kingdom’s goal,
Lest we miss your kingdom’s goal.

Save us from weak resignation to the evils we deplore;
Let the gift of your salvation be our glory evermore.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, serving you whom we adore,
Serving you whom we adore.
(Author: Harry E. Fosdick, 1930)

About the Author: Mrs. Marilyn Hodge owns and operates the Wellness Centre in the Farrington, Anguilla. The Centre offers Counselling Services by Appointment Only. Contact information: 476-3517 or email: marilynb@anguillanet.com.

By anguillian October 12, 2015 11:06 Updated


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