“Pilgrim’s Conflict with Sloth” (Video)

The poem I’m about to read is called “Pilgrim’s Conflict with Sloth.” It brings together three things that I am facing and loving: one is poetry, another is work, and another is this transition in my life that some people call retirement, as I step away from being the senior pastor of Bethlehem. So I set myself to ask how I feel about stopping. Am I stopping? Am I going to keep working? What’s the right view of work? Why do I love poetry so much?

All of this came together in a poem in which I encounter sloth as an enemy on the road. And the way it works out is that the poem is my wrestling. It’s the way my mind works. I wrestle with: Who am I? Am I a workaholic? Am I not? What’s a right theology of work and theology of rest? And what does it mean to come to junctures like this in your life?

So, if you wonder about work; if you love poetry; if you’ve ever come to transitions in your life and felt like you’ve met enemies along the way, this poem may be helpful for you. This is “Pilgrim’s Conflict with Sloth.”


Read John Piper's poem, “Pilgrim's Conflict with Sloth.”

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.