Dip into the past. Ten days ago I prayed deeply, begging God to use me and telling Him that by the time I finished the daily editing of sorrowful consumer complaints for my part-time work, I had little creative energy or time for spiritual reading, praying, and writing. However, I was needful of the income.
One week ago, while beginning the Monday morning editing, I received an email from the boss. He had sold the company. The email was nebulous, but what was obvious stunned: stop editing and submit hours worked thus far, this month. Upon further inquiry, yes, my services were not going to be needed, nor my adult daughter's in another state. We are finished. They planned to automate more, the complaint moderating process.
As for seeking some other consumer type editing work, the answer seemed clear: devote what moments and years left of my life all the more to developing the spiritual, writing the spiritual, and giving my soul all the more to God. Do and be nothing else. Suffer, pray, read, write, tend the gardens for they are God's.
"...the demon of dejection, who obscures the soul's capacity for spiritual contemplation and keeps it from all good works. When this malicious demon seizes our soul and darkens it completely, he prevents us from praying gladly, from reading Holy Scripture with profit and perseverance, and from being gentle and compassionate towards our brethren. He instills a hatred of every kind of work and even of the [whatever spiritual vocation] itself. Undermining the soul's salutary resolutions, weakening its persistence and constancy, he leaves it senseless and paralyzed, tied and bound by its despairing thoughts...."
Now, as for listlessness which, Cassian writes, works hand in hand with the demon of dejection: "This is a harsh, terrible demon, always attacking the [person], falling upon him at mid-day, making him slack and full of fear, inspiring him with hatred for his [surroundings], his fellow [persons], for work of any kind,and even for the reading of Holy Scripture. He suggest to the [person] that he should go elsewhere and that, if he does not, all his effort and time will be wasted. In addition to all this, he produces in him...a hunger such as he would not normally have....
Had I not fallen into taking afternoon naps, waiting for dusk to sleep again, staring out the windows, writing worthless emails to people busy in their focused lives? Had I not answered the phone and jabbered mindlessly about not much of anything worthwhile from the perilous perch of my self-absorbed flitting and flopping?