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. . . the apathy and lethargy that paralyze their spiritual facul­ties – these are among the formidable obstacles that stand in the path of every would-be warrior in the service of Bahá’u’lláh, obstacles which he must battle against and surmount in his crusade for the redemption of his own countrymen. (Shoghi Effendi, Citadel of Faith. p. 149)

As someone addicted to keeping busy with work and service, I’d never recognized the experience of apathy and lethargy in myself until recently.  I’d seen it in others, of course, and just didn’t understand, particularly when Bahá’ís around me stopped coming to events and stopped caring about studying the current guidance and wanting to be part of the Institute process and Community Building.  When I started into burnout, though, it happened to me.

When I googled the causes, I discovered that they were all related to physical or mental illness.  No wonder these health issues paralyze us and are formidable obstacles to battle against and surmount.

I think it all goes back to service – we can’t serve if we’re apathetic. We can’t serve if we are trapped in the prison of self.  We’re utterly powerless!  Only the Grace of God, sometimes working through others and through medication, can help us rise above our natural inertia.

Apathy and lethargy is real for many people, including myself at times, and knowing that God doesn’t want me to stay stuck there, I am grateful!


What jumped out for you as you read today’s meditation?  I’d love it if you would share so we can all expand our knowledge of the Writings!

If you liked this meditation, you might also like my book Making Friends with Sin and Temptation


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