As I was thinking about how to approach this blog, I realized I really didn’t care. Just kidding. Remember the topic is apathy? The truth is for the last few weeks I have actually been thinking how grateful I am to God. I am thankful that somehow, by the grace of God alone, I don’t wrestle with apathy regarding my faith. I care about the realities of all that defines Christianity for me personally and for the church as a whole. But that doesn’t mean I am immune to apathy in other areas of my walk with God.
The other night I was in a restaurant with my granddaughters Alice and Sylvie. The hostess handed Alice a pack of crayons along with coloring books for she and her sister to color. I watched Alice quickly scan the colors of the crayons and pull out a broken stubby gray crayon and hand it happily to her younger sister, while she cleverly kept all the bright and beautiful colors. Sylvie was clueless and began filling the beautiful drawings on the paper with a mundane shade of gray. I was thinking that might make a good definition of apathy.
AP-A-THY (noun) A mundane shade of gray. What if there are areas in my life where God has placed opportunities of beauty before me and I am clueless? Even worse, what if I am content to color these beautiful opportunities in a mundane shade of gray?
There are times when I find myself holding a stubby gray crayon spiritually. Maybe you can relate to some of the areas where this may happen.
Loving the lost
When Moses first led Israel into the wilderness he came down Mount Sinai one day and found the men and women God delivered dancing like crazy around a false god they had made. He was angry. He was horrified. But he also cared. So he went to God. He prayed for them to be forgiven and begged God not to leave them. That is beautiful. Every day we have the opportunity to pray for people that dance like crazy around the stupidest things. We can be angry. We can even be horrified. But then we need to care enough to go to God for them. We can ask God to lead them out of their own personal wilderness. I want to care more for the lost people God sends my way.
Accepting a challenge
The summer before I began college I spent a lot of time floating with my best friend Nancy in her backyard pool. Life was good. One day our Young Life leader stepped into Nancy’s yard and interrupted our leisurely plans. He informed us that it was time for us to invest in others — the incoming high school freshman girls to be exact. I remember feeling surprised. Yes, Young Life leadership had invested in us all through high school, but wasn’t that what they did? I had helped out with a few things here and there, but this seemed different. It seemed challenging. It was an important lesson for me to learn. I realized that I don’t get to pick and choose ministry according to what feels comfortable and convenient to me. Taking up my cross and following Christ would include some hard things. I want to keep learning this. I don’t want to carelessly float past the challenging ministries that God has in store for me.
Asking for more
I love the people, places, church and ministry that surround me. And so my prayers naturally encircle these constant areas of my life. Sometimes I actually feel a little overwhelmed trying to keep up with all these prayer needs. It’s like my prayers are all in one box and I don’t take the time to open a new box. In the new box are things I don’t know about. In the new box I have to focus on the future and not just the present. James spoke into this when he said, “You do not have, because you do not ask.” (James 4:2b) What don’t I have that God wants me to have? What is God expecting me to ask Him? Inside the new box is a puzzle that I must trust God to put together. Meanwhile, I need to ask for things that would glorify God. Things that I am not already living out. I don’t want to get to heaven and see boxes with my name on them that were never opened. Charles Spurgeon has said, “Do you know what great things are to be had for the asking? Have you ever thought of it? Doesn’t it stimulate you to pray fervently? All heaven lies before the grasp of the asking man; all the promises of God are rich and inexhaustible, and their fulfillment is to be had in prayer.” One commentary sums it up this way, “If we possess little of God and His kingdom, almost certainly we have asked little.”
Now and then I like to look in the pocket of my heart to see if I am carrying around the stubby gray crayon of apathy. God is more than happy to help me empty this pocket. Life with God is colorful, and we are more than blessed to spend our lives holding His crayon box.
7 Churches of Revelation Devotional
Want to continue the conversation we’re starting in our “7 Churches of Revelation” series? Be a part of the devotional too! On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays this fall we’re sending out short videos that offer more insights and some practical questions to consider as you think about how Jesus’ message to each church intersects with your life. To get the devotionals, download the Christ Chapel Bible Church app and turn on your notifications — it’s that simple!