An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
Last night I went to hear Metropolitan Kallistos Ware speak and I quite enjoyed it. At one point he was discussing three steps involved in repentance, using the parable of the Prodigal Son as an example.
Repentance begins with a sort of self-realization that one's life is miserable...that sin(s) is/are eating away at one's soul and body - very much like the first of AA's 12 steps. And then, in step 2, the Prodigal Son came to the realization of HOPE, which is that he could return to his father's house (again very similar to the second AA step). And then finally, the Prodigal Son takes ACTION and sets off for home.
The Arch-Bishop then spent a good amount of time warning about failing to complete all three steps and particularly getting hung up in despair after the first step. He very effectively compared and contrasted Peter and Judas' responses to their two betrayals.
I was fascinated by it all...but had a burning question: What does one do when it is not despair that interrupts the 3 steps, but laziness? One sees the hope that the return to our Father offers, but cannot seem to lift themselves out of the muck to actually make the trip? The ACTION to change seems to me to be the part most lacking in my own life...despair has never much been one of my problems.
Change is a popular term these days - especially on the political front...but they are mere shadows...smoke and mirrors. The most needful change, the most powerful change happens in the heart of the individual when it meets with its Creator. All other change is...well...it it's not worth believing in.
I think the answer to this is also an AA saying: When the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of changing, then we'll change. "Laziness" is just another word for comfortable. If you are comfortable enough to stay the same you might be depressed, but not despairing.