The Goodies, in one of their shows or on a record, had a song called “The Funky Gibbon.”  In it was mention of the three toed sloth.  This is my first memory of sloth.  The deadly sins though include it in the sense of despair, melancholy or dare I say depression while modern interpretations think of it in terms of laziness.

Now it seems in this day and age when Australia has a larger proportion of people who work longer than any other country in the OECD network (see for example the ACTU on this though the OECD may disagree) this would not seem to be an Australian vice.  Yet our image is of the long weekend, barbecues and relaxation. What is going on?

At the heart of our nation is the desire to commit this sin and have nothing to do, while at the same time having this memory that it has taken hard work to end up in the situations where we find ourselves.  Whether we come from first-fleeters to new migrants work has been involved and at some level we want to put the past behind.  We want to so indulge in this sin but fear if we do we will lose it all.

The response to this sin I think is not busyness or zeal.  Zeal can be misdirected and busyness can be a way to avoid the voice of God speaking in the midst of doing little.  The response is purpose.  If you have a direction to go in, a place to serve in, a goal to reach, you should not be slothful about it.  While despair or melancholy, even depression, may slow the process down they will not completely stop it when it is a high and noble enough purpose.

This series has meandered all over the place and now it draws to a close as this is the last of the 7 deadly sins.  The question in the end is what is your purpose?  Are you heading toward it and at what speed?

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