St. Seraphim of Sarov Orthodox Church
872 N. 29th St. Boise, ID
an American parish of the Russian Orthodox Church
The Spiritual Life - Fr. Sergius Nezhbort


We keep preparing for the spiritual life but never embark on it. We are waiting for the best time or the most appropriate day. We expect that on Monday (or as soon as the Great Lent begins) we will finally be able to do something but for now, we feel that we aren’t prepared enough. We may spend years—or our whole lives—waiting for something to happen. That is why we shouldn’t be waiting for the most beneficial time to start a spiritual life. The best time is now. Our spiritual life may not be as heroic as the lives of St. Anthony the Great or St. Macarius the Great. It may be way simpler. First and foremost, you should attune to the right wave.

Sometimes people are busy doing something but gradually lose respect and reverence for what they do. They bake prosphoras, paint icons, and embroider vestments. At first, they get up early in the morning thinking, “I’m going to do great things today!” Unfortunately, when you keep doing those great things for years, they turn into a monotonous routine and you stop seeing the beauty that you used to admire because you are as accustomed to it as fish is to the water. The beauty still exists but that person doesn’t notice it because he is wrongly attuned.

You should keep tuning yourself in and inspiring yourself. Say to yourself “This day is going to be the day when I am finally able to do something no matter how small or insignificant it might seem. Even if I don’t want to do it right now, it is going to be beneficial for me in the long run.” There was a sister who came to me for advice (I hope I don’t let out her secret), and she told me, “They’ve invited me to sing in the choir early in the morning. I think I should decline the invitation because I don’t want to get up so early.” I exclaimed, “My dear sister, praise the Lord that someone needs you so much that they invited you to sing with them. You could be sitting around in your house or sleeping till lunch but it would mean that no one needs you.”

I mean, thank God that people still need us. If anyone asks for your help today, rejoice and say to yourself, “Isn’t it great that someone still needs me?” And hurry up. This is what is going to make you happy. You’ll be wrong if you respond to an invitation with “Oh I wish you didn’t call me! I’m so tired and busy…”

Whenever the Lord calls us to do anything, let’s do it to the best of our ability. That’s when our spiritual life will flourish.