Aardvark Alley

Lutheran Aardvark

Confessional Lutheran theology, hagiography, philosophy, music, culture, sports, education, and whatever else is on the fevered mind of Orycteropus Afer

28 July 2005
  Slack Time, not Slacker Time
If Communism promised a "workers' paradise," the U.S. in August becomes a "loafers' paradise."

Since the problem of Dog Days' church attendance extends throughout Christendom, here I share my current newsletter musings:
We often consider August one of the “slack time” months. There are no major national holidays, the heat is high, we’re past most of the summer sports season, and it’s not quite time for school. Of course, the first days of school have been eating away at August’s back end for years, while teachers (and pastors who teach) know that they’d better be using their days wisely in preparation for upcoming classes.

Still, along with February, August has as much a reputation as any of the months for being a do-nothing time. In many ways, this is good. If we find good, restful recreation, the Lord can use this slack time to restore and reinvigorate us before school, harvest, and all of Autumn’s other activities overwhelm.

However, August shouldn’t be “slacker time.” The American Heritage Dictionary defines a slacker: “One who shirks work or responsibility: ‘In terms of their outlook on the future, slackers regard tomorrow with a studied cynicism or ... don’t even conceive of one.’ (Julie Caniglia)” Of course, relaxing and shirking aren’t the same thing — especially regarding church-related participation.

You see, August also has a nasty reputation as one of the worst for church attendance, the giving of offerings, and participation in Bible study. And, believe it or not, it’s not August’s fault — it’s ours. August’s church slackers duck the “work” of paying attention to their own spiritual well-being. They shirk the responsibilities of living in community with other Christians. And like their counterparts in the “real” world, slackers have a poor regard for tomorrow — especially the eternal tomorrow promised by Christ.

Yet while the Law commands regular and faithful church participation, the church slacker truly faces trouble because of the Gospel — or rather, a lack of the Gospel. Yes, our congregation has bills to pay, salaries to meet, and the like. And yes, our mission offerings are part of what God uses to spread His Word here and abroad. The real damage, however, comes upon those who allow their hearts to become dull concerning their own forgiveness and new life in Christ: Church slackers neglect taking the healing medicine of forgiveness; they starve themselves by staying away from the Lord’s banquet table.

Certainly, August has a well-deserved reputation as a time of rest and recreation. How much more blessed the rest when it includes spiritual rest. And how much more energizing the recreation when it also involves heartfelt singing, praying, and full participation in the services of the Lord’s house.

Still feeling like a slacker? Give me or one of our active members a call and we’ll joyfully pray for you and encourage you to shake off the dust, open your eyes and ears, and wholeheartedly embrace all that God gives those who gather in His name.

In Christ,
Pastor

Who needs Dog Days? I have Aardvark Days!
 
Comments:
"Who needs Dog Days? I have Aardvark Days!"

Been Varking too hard again, eh?

- Webcritter
 
Hey, your namesake, John Chrysostom, complained about the same thing. I posted about his and your article here.

Paul Gregory Alms
 
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