What did they do wrong?


Ezekiel pointed out that the sin of Sodom was “pride, fullness of bread, abundance of idleness . . . neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.” (16:49)

“in the days of Lot . . . they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded . . . ” (Lk 17:28)

Speaking to a great crowd of followers at Pleasant View, Mrs. Eddy lamented, “I find my students either in an apathy or a frenzy.” We would normally think that “apathy” is closer to “idleness” than “frenzy,” but Mrs. Eddy’s statement teaches us that when one is in a state of frenzy this also signifies a state of being stuck – remaining idle – with respect to accomplishing the things of God. When a car engine is idle it is still running — it’s just not going anywhere. Being busy, even to an extreme, with the things of this world, but leaving one’s spiritual engine idle with respect to truly acting on the will of God is a frenzied form of idleness. Being busy doing, doing, doing earthly things can be a great distraction from actually doing God’s will, and when not doing God’s will becomes a habit, we are in a state of gross idleness, whether in an apathy or a frenzy. Either way, God’s car is, in effect, stalled and going nowhere. In effect, it is possible to think that we are actively doing God’s will, when in reality we are only dreaming that we are, and instead we are asleep at the wheel of a parked car, perhaps with our foot resting heavily on the accelerator pedal, its engine idling wastefully.

Susan Atkins, one of the convicted Manson murderers, had a dream shortly after entering prison to serve her life sentence. She dreamed that she was in an other-worldly setting, and that thousands of people were praying for her. They had lifted her up and were passing her bodily above their heads, closer and closer to a throne of resplendent light. When she finally reached the throne, she saw the Christ, who lovingly pointed out her main shortcoming (in a “One thing thou lackest” moment): “your indifference to Me.” Here was a girl who had grown up a horrendous alcoholic home and who found in the Manson cult a family she could love and serve with all her heart, mind, and being. Here was someone who was not for one moment indifferent or idle in her commitment or service to the devil, even to the point of actively participating in an outrageously violent mass-murder spree. Her life had been one of an abundance of action with respect to accomplishing temporal things, but in God’s sight, it all amounted to an abundance of inaction and indifference with respect to Him, an abundance of idleness and sleepiness to the point of being dead, monumentally dead, to the things that matter, the eternal things of God.

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