Thursday, April 30, 2009

rejecting apathy

When I looked up the word apathy on dictionary.com, here's what I found:

–noun, plural -thies.

1. absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement.
2. lack of interest in or concern for things that others find moving or exciting.

I think the number one reason we fall into apathy is because we feel like the world's problems (or our own problems) are just too big. We feel overwhelmed. We feel like anything we could possibly do to improve a situation would be too little. So, we throw in the towel and decide to give up. We shut down. Apathy overtakes us.

The problem, however, is that God created us to be passionate people. Anything less leaves us feeling frusrated with our lives and the choices we make on a daily basis. Being frustrated on a daily basis is just plain stinky. I know that all too well, I'm afraid.

The truth of the matter is that everything in this universe is indeed too big for all of us. The good news is that it is not too big for our Creator.

God doesn't expect us to solve all of the world's problems. He does, however, desire for us to give Him the little we do have.

We are not the answer, He is. That said, He does require that we become a part of His solution.

He longs to be able to use us to bless others, invest in others and engage with others. When we become apathetic, we not only fail to allow God to use us; we also become a roadblock to the amazing work He desires to do in and through us.

One of my favorite Scripture verses is John 10:10. Jesus said, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

When we live in apathy, we're allowing the thief to steal our passion and our purpose. That wasn't the life that Jesus died to give us. He suffered greatly in that we would live abundantly rich lives. And I'm not talking about dollars here...thankfully. :-)

I've recently started subscribing to RELEVANT Magazine's weekly email. While I may not agree with all of the different viewpoints that are expressed, I am deeply challenged by the articles they publish. The writers push me outside of my comfort zone and bring me face-to-face with, well, relevant topics and issues we face in our lives today.

There's a column titled "Reject Apathy" that caught my eye. Jeff Goins wrote an article for it titled "The Truth About Apathy." It's worth the read and I think most of us will relate to his experience shopping in T*rget. :-)

I also enjoyed Chris Foster's write-up titled "Cambodian Coffee." It's actually kind of funny that drinking a different type of coffee is enough wake us up out of our comfortable routines. But it can! In order to reject apathy, we need to get uncomfortable.

How can we do that? We can read articles and books that make us not only squirm, but also raise our awareness to the atrocities going on around the world today.

We can add some current documentaries and inspirational films into our Neflix queue.

We can stop and really look at photographs like those Tom took last week in Ethiopia.

And sometimes, getting uncomfortable can be as simple as eating beans and rice for dinner one night a week. I know lots of families who do this as a way of better understanding how people with less resources eat on daily basis. They then share the money they saved on their meals to sponsor a child in need.

The thing about uncomfortable is that it can evoke new emotions and old passions, which leads to a richer life. The one Jesus promised us.

Life is an adventure, and I don't want to miss out on any of it because I let apathy and comfort erode away my purpose in life. The truth of the matter is that without passion, there is no life.

What about you? Have you discovered ways to reject apathy? I would love to hear some of the things God is teaching you. :-)

There definitely isn't any time to be apathetic when we are LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

Rejecting apathy, one choice at a time,

2 comments:

Eryn said...

wow, GREAT post! Thanks for dropping by my blog and saying hi! Our homestudy has taken FOREVER to complete, we began the process in September and just finished. I am trying to keep perspective that it's all God's timing to bring the perfect fit to our family. Where in OR do you live? I live in Vancouver WA. There are so many ethiopia families in the area! I daydream about a big family picnic where all of us in the pacific northwest can gather and meet, "for real"

Becky Ryder said...

I find the farther we go into the adoption process and learning about the less fortunate, the more I have a huge desire to help. I've come to learn things that use to make me happy don't anymore in comparison to doing what is right and living a simple, God-feariing life. God's stirring me and I'm excited.