From time to time, I’ll be watching the news or surfing the web and I’ll hear about the world’s woes.
And I won’t care. About any of it.
I’ll think, “Let the world shoot itself in the foot. Let horrible people do horrible things. Go ahead, world, bring me your worst. I shall not be moved.”
Ever feel like that? Like a hardened lump of clay? Like there are so many terrible headlines, so many series of unfortunate events, that “keeping the faith” seems impossible?
That’s when the negative stuff begins to blur. It’s like static. White noise. Too much bad stuff.
Oh no! The Church is failing. The Economy is failing. Crops are failing. Marriages are failing.
And you know what?
I DON’T CARE.
(Except I do.)
When they come at me too fast and furious — Water-cooler conversations with co-workers, headlines on the radio, breaking news alerts on my phone — it adds up to a wall of pain that I can hardly imagine, much less imagine overcoming.
It’s overwhelming, so I convince myself I don’t really care. I pull myself out of the equation. I pretend like I’m a bored observer, watching a tedious movie. I disengage.
There’s a word for this kind of a response. It’s called APATHY.
APATHY is a coping mechanism. We make ourselves bored because we’re afraid to interact with our environment.
APATHY sits back and feels numb. APATHY is the paralysis of faith.
I don’t want to feel that way. Do you?
Certainly, it’s not the kind of living that God has in mind for us.
So how can we fight APATHY? Here’s 3 quick suggestions:
1. Apply filters. Watch one news report instead of three. Thin out your twitter feed. Stay connected to the world, but not enmeshed with it.
2. Memorize the Serenity Prayer, and live by it:
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
3. Follow Jesus. Jesus had the weight of the world resting on his shoulders, and still he managed to keep his focus and passion. You want to know how to do that? Do what he did.
I may still have the occasional overwhelming day when I say I DON’T CARE, but to be honest, I think few phrases are more offensive to God.
Have a good week,