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Eric's Sunday Sermon; On Apathy, Complacency and Caring
Hooray for The Midway!
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
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
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.