A Life Oriented to Leisure is Death

I am reading a book and a quote by Anne Lamott jumped off the pages for me. “For a life oriented to leisure is in the end a life oriented to death—the greatest leisure of all.” Wow, this shocked me so much! Though I know it’s true, to have it stated so succinctly is amazing.

Laziness and Leisure

Laziness and Leisure leads to death
I’ve seen this evidenced in my life. When I cradle laziness and leisure, I cuddle with death. When I embrace inactivity, I snuggle with an end to my actual life.

Where this was challenged the most for me was in the shepherding field. When I had a flock of sheep, my leisure and ease was negligible. Just because I didn’t want to or was too tired, my responsibilities didn’t care. They called me forth like a child to a lactating mother. I had to do it. There was no alternative.

Now that I don’t have sheep, where can I see this? It’s in the little details that I can choose to neglect. Little things I have to do to maintain my health. Or those tasks which maintain order in my home or workplace. Even the hours I can waste in frivolous web activity. All of these lead to death. Not only in the moment but also as a habitual pattern that bleeds over into other areas of my life that are more important.

Leisure Deteriorates

Leisure Deteriorates
It is like a house left vacant—it deteriorates. You would think lack of traffic would preserve it but it doesn’t. It begins the process of rot. This is so with our life as well.

We were put here on this earth to rule. Our ultimate life intention isn’t retirement and leisure, it’s work. Now if you have read my posts for any amount of time, you know that I believe the work is not mine, it is His life in me as me, not me. Or then there is my famous saying, “Effort is blasphemy!” So I am not saying, “Go to work, you lazy bones.” What I am saying is that leisure is not the goal. Heaven is not our Club Med, hahaha, and this earth isn’t an easy ride for coasting. Though His yoke is easy and His burden is light (His Life), it’s not free of my responsibility. We don’t flourish in leisure. We thrive within our responsibilities, mundane or important alike, blooming where He has planted us. Everything else is just death, the greatest leisure of all.

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    • LA

      This post is a real affirmation–the word ‘atrophy’ has been a part of my vocabulary lesson from the Lord in recent years. I haven’t seen an abandoned or rotting house up close and personal; however, I have seen people retire from work and demand their right to just sit in a recliner–not for days or months but for YEARS. then they start to get sick–lots of illness.
      on the other hand, I have known elderly people with far more energy than me who, in their final months and years, become bedridden and yet keep such a vitality, such a joy of life, that they seem more fully awake and alive than ever…the only difference I can make out is the Life of Christ within

    • Hannah

      Lol! I don’t know why I find this so funny, and yet it is so true. What would you say is the difference between leisure and rest?

      • shulamite

        Oddly, I think the Lord answered me on this—effort. Let me see if I can make a follow-up post to answer this. If not I will reply again with what the Lord just answered me. Wow, thank you Hannah for the question.

    • Sam

      I also laughed with this and the picture of the bones. This is John’s humour at its best. But painfully enough, the Spirit is right throughout. Ouch…

      All of this has to do with focus. The Spirit talked to me through this of focus. For me, the right focus is order. When I have the right focus, order will come in. Sensei Miyagi (Pat Morita) was right in Karate Kid I. Focus is the most important thing. Good focus, good karate. 🙂

      Love abounding.

    • Sandy


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