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Eric's Sunday Sermon; On Apathy, Complacency and Caring

Updated on December 10, 2017

Hooray for The Midway!

Another Veteran's Day.
Another Veteran's Day. | Source

Somewhere to Begin

So the seed gets planted and the gardener ignores it. The family home needs painting but the father does not get it done. The car is brand new but the owner does not change the oil. The child is sent to school but gets no help with homework. The trash does not get taken out. The preacher reads the same sermons for 3 years.

Many a time folks are criticized for either going to church or for not going to church. Perhaps worship services are the only effort made for growing spiritually or seeking God. Maybe a person spends no time trying to think of anything other than the day to day. Think of a person who loses the function of a body part because he never uses it. It is a condition called atrophy. Does it apply to the soul?

I am sorry to report that many many people have allowed the spirituality to atrophy. The problem with that is that the soul begins to atrophy. If you do not believe in the soul that can be fine. Then we can just say that they allow their creative side to atrophy.

In this home there is an ironclad rule. When the youngster comes home from school and a great after school program which is mostly play and arts and crafts, before homework or cleaning up, before snacks he is to play outside by himself for at least a half hour. Oh he gets plenty of spirituality training. But that can only happen once his imagination is satiated. Personally I find that half hour is better than an hour of meditation. And the training is not dogma but rather how to question dogma.

The Mathematics of Faith

If one is looking for it there is a certain spirituality in everything we see and do. Of course you exclaim that as balderdash. Let us take mathematics. Pretty straight forward down to earth stuff, right? Then you have a couple of areas you are ignoring. What is the idea of negative numbers? That does not happen in nature unless you “believe” in a void in between plus and minus. We get .002 but do we really get a negative .002? It simply does not exist. Then we get infinity. That is a funny one because it is not a number that we can fathom. So it only exists in our imagination. And then you find numbers as logic. Any worthy college degree in Philosophy requires at least 18 credit hours in math. And lastly is time. Try telling time without numbers. Of course you can go all natural and only have time based on the sun and moon and seasons. I dare you give it a shot. Unless willing to let go of “normal” time precepts you will be frustrated and lost.

Perhaps Just Acknowledging Beauty is a Good Start

Appreciating Nature and Taking Time

Wonders. | Source

Making Room

This sounds so ridiculous that most scoff at the mere mention. Empty your mind of all thought in order to let a higher power reveal what is already in you. We will leave the notion of a dandelion having an easier time of this than a man for another time. But that empty is between the positive and the negative in numbers.

So let us just use our common parlance of the heart being the center of our soul and faith and not our mind. But the mind is the gateway to the heart. Or shall we say that we use our mind to access that which is already in our heart. And the inverse. I pound on the idea of a full heart and an empty heart. All vessels have some good in them and some bad. And think about our silly notion of a cup being half full or half empty. Because that is so silly. The cup and the heart are always full, perhaps half with air and half with water.

Now it is my belief somewhat stolen from some Christian ideas that what comes out of the mouth is the overflow of the heart. And don’t think that giving a sales presentation as opposed to a sermon is different. Personally I like to empty that baby as much as I can. I am not worried about dying from spiritual thirst. Then I knock off the crap that I allow to flow into my heart. Sure someone is shot, but someone helps him live, do I focus on the shooting as your news does or do I focus on the caring lifesaving stuff? Awareness does not require us letting the garbage pass from our mind to our heart.

We must be aware of those who allow sickness to create sickness. If their hearts were filled with love with a no vacancy sign at the door what room would there be for ailment of the mind, body and Soul. I have cancer. Wouldn’t it be funny if a guest asked me what I do and I said “I am a cancer patient”? Pain and illness are real, suffering is purely a choice.

Are We Looking In The Right Places?

It Takes Effort to Reach The Goal

If we do not try we will never grow.
If we do not try we will never grow. | Source

To Learn We Must Ask For Help

So let us scoot along here toward “complacency”. Complacency is a different duck than apathy. Apathy is the opposite of love. Complacency might best be noticed in the phrase “bad things happen when good people do nothing”. And we can microcosm that notion by “we become bad when we do nothing good”. The world of spirituality does not know neutrality. We either engage our inner self connection or we lose it. We either grow in the spiritual or we are left behind. Feed the body and not the soul then death is the end of the living. Feed the soul and death may just be the beginning.

Now let me recommend 5 ways to nourish our self. Love, love, love, love and love. Those are the easy ones. When we teach a small girl to cross a city street we teach an easy to remember technique. Stop, look and listen. Look and listen again and then proceed. We of course teach to do it in at least two directions. Alright, can we do it any better in the spirit? “Stop, look and listen”. My boy and I do it with basketballs. You have to dribble all the ¾ mile walk home. Hand eye coordination. And yet something more. A connection. In dribbling we are in the moment. And yet we hold up to chit chat with our favorite dogs and retirees.

Do you run into the fire to help others? I speak of the spiritually bankrupt. Do you expend the energy to help an awakening of a caring in others? In how we handle others who seem to be having emotional or spiritual problems? Or do you not want to become emotionally entangled because you are too busy with the day to day?

Here is an easy one to get a gut check on how you are doing in this area. Do you feel like you are “being used” when you help someone? (negative enabling aside) I would suggest that if you do it is because you just plain and simple choose complacency as your default setting.

Let us end with a prayer that I need; Lord let us love more sweetly and care more deeply.


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    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      9 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Right on Lawrence my friend. You make your point very clear just by your picture. And I always remind myself that man is a part too. I like my footprint getting lower and lower.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      9 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      It's always been a concern to me, that people can look at nature and not see the spiritual behind nature!

      Einstein said that it was seeing the 'beauty' in the physics and science that convinced him of a 'divine' behind the cosmos!

      I think I hold the same 'awe' when I look at nature, just the awesome beauty in the 'natural' and the way everything interacts with the other parts, when nature is so 'wonderfully, yet fearfully made' how can we be apathetic or complacent about it?

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks much Nikki. I like your notion of one of the reasons we are such special creatures.

      I chuckle some times when out hiking. I can feel like I am disturbing nature, but realize I am a part also.

    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 

      11 months ago from London

      Wow,,what an amazing one. Enjoyed it all.Spiritual understanding is so necessary to keep ourselves alive, otherwise there won’t be much difference between us and animals who just know to eat and sleep.

      Man has been given mind to think, to look inside your soul, and to do good.

      This is why humans are superior than other creatures of God.

      Your sermon is really heart touching.

      God Bless you.

      Have a great weekend.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Sorry I missed this earlier friend. I must say that people should not hold against someone when that someone say they are working on it. It is like saying they themselves do not have to work on it.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Kari your are so right on the money. I was consulting with an Attorney client about getting into the 12 person groove.

      We call it Jury Picking - a fun pastime of mine.

      He had to get himself centered so he could feel the "vibe" of each Juror. He shook his head when I said he had to love each one.

      The point is a connection needs to be made.

      For us normal folk it is not a "how to" proposition. It is all about free association and love. More on that and bicycle riding and zen through Jesus later.

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      11 months ago from Ohio

      I love the prayer. Short, sweet and to the point. I agree, complacency is not far from apathy. We need to feel the wonder of life. We are here to help each other. We are here to love. :)

    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 

      11 months ago from Washington DC

      No, Eric, first you do your "thang" before seeing what others have said. I'm glad you said you are working on it, I'll wait until I read it before say something I've debated saying until now. I see why I had not been inspired to say it. More than likely what it say, you say and i say are interchangeable.


    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Demas. I just know you are in the throws of our wonderment of Christ's birth and family. It is a full compliment that you took time to visit and sharing. I am working on a piece about my stupid bucket list being fulfilled so "now what do I do?" Sky diving and swimming parts of the Amazon seem so lame now.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 

      11 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      The best selling book "How Full Is Your Bucket" contains researched studies dealing with your topic that will inform on the true significance of your bucket and your dipper, cause and result, happiness and negativity. I thoroughly recommend it, and I am not alone in doing so. Merry Christmas, Eric & Family

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Dora. Just amazing how it boils down to something so wonderfully rewarding. I was just in that zone today and had to pinch myself. No big deals just joy.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      11 months ago from The Caribbean

      Amen to the prayer. Love never fails. If we know and love ourselves, know and love our purpose, know and love those who lean on us; apathy and complacency cannot dominate any part of our lives.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Clive when I am out hiking I feel a connectedness. I don't think I could do that with my brain. My son is lucky - he gets religion from his mom and spirituality from me. Add together add love and stir with spoon. No need to cook just eat the batter.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill I was checking my list twice and found you in the good boy side of the ledger. Can someone care too much -- you certainly raise that issue.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Frank. I hope I was not too "preachy" on this one. It means a lot to me to get uplifting comments from you.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 

      11 months ago from Jamaica

      Very Nice Ceremony. Children really need spiritual training to not get their soul atrophy. Nourishment to the soul is indeed love and more love. But not just for ourselves. But for all connected life.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Larry that is the most precious remuneration for my writing. I just read your awesome Party at the Library. And like your recent Barista your writing brings joy and contemplation for me.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Patricia I am always in need of your Angels. And your Santa hat is cheering me up. Thank you for being my friend.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Chris. I think you may relate to this. This morning I was outside watching the sun and birds wake up and discussing with myself next week's sermon. And it "dawned" on me how easy it was writing sermons in a church setting. You always get the scripture prompt for the day. I wonder.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes, yes, and yes! I am now fueled to begin my week and to go forth as I was meant to do. Thanks my friend.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      11 months ago from Shelton

      What a powerful sermon yet its simplistic values carry much weight.. I do enjoy your sermons.. some just speak loud.. awesome

    • Larry Fish profile image

      Larry W Fish 

      11 months ago from Raleigh

      I always enjoy your sermons, Eric. They always make me take a good look at myself and often change the way that I look at things. You are right we need to take a little break from our work or our problems to clear our minds and our soul before we go back to it. Love, love, love, is what the world needs more of. You are an inspiration to me, Eric.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      11 months ago from sunny Florida

      The closing prayer says it all, Eric. Will reread and know that I will find even more to carry away with me. Angels are on the

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      11 months ago from Flagstaff, AZ

      Ouch, ouch, and ouch. Other than that, I really enjoyed this bit of encouragement to love and care for our fellow man. Well done, Eric.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Linda, as you know it is grace that brought us here and grace that sets us free. For some reason beyond my comprehension I am blessed with good friends that help me along the sojourn like you.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Elijah, the one man cared a certain way and the other a different way. And they loved each other. The reason was that they cared. How we walk a path, is far less important than moving forward. I hope people think on your notions. They are worthy to me.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Manatita, it is fun for me to recollect back 10 years ago. I took rests from the spiritual. It just took too much energy. Now I just close my eyes and the need to be of service is a natural place to be.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Jackie my little family was doing a kitchen table supper chat last night. "Who is the most grateful?" Totally silly. But my silliest son said he was grateful for being grateful. "Thank you Lord for giving us a giving heart".

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Devika thank you for coming by. I was reading one of your works today and it hit me that your articles on relationships are key. The relationship up, in and out is paramount.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      11 months ago from Washington State, USA

      "Lord let us love more sweetly and care more deeply." If everyone followed that simple advice, what a beautiful world it would be. Thank you for steering us toward the right path.

    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 

      11 months ago from Washington DC

      Lookout you, Eric, touching bases with many of my early conflicts such as when I was in 7th grade math. They taught each number has a negative of the same value and when added together becomes zero. That prompted me to say, then the only whole number is zero. I even wrote a hub on that one.

      The half full glass I've long considered impossible, they are always full only if half full of the desired substance. I approved of how you tied it to our hearts as I have often attempt to but hadn't recognize empty the mind to hear your god within, thanks my brother. Well done and very inspiring.

    • manatita44 profile image


      11 months ago from london

      Nice! Inspirational Hub. Happy Sunday to you.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      11 months ago from The Beautiful South

      Another great lesson in giving Eric. Rule of law with God I think. If we want blessings we must live by this rule and really want to.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      11 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      In such situations one can feel scared and helpless. It is a tragedy for many and people who help make it feel a bit easier.


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