One of the things that has been part of my job the past year or so has been to recruit and organize undergraduate students to blog about their experiences on campus. It’s been pretty fun to get to know some of them a bit and read their blogs once in a while and see what their time at SAU is like.
One of my favorites has been Chad Blackmon-Edmonds. He’s on the men’s basketball team and rips it up when he gets in the game; he has a lot of skill. He’s also very introspective, like me. When catching up on his blog this afternoon, I ran across a few paragraphs that really spoke to me:
I was thinking….why do we wait for things. Not just little things, but everything. We wait for important things to happen in our lives without putting ourselves in the right positions for them to happen. Especially with relationships and careers. A job, best friend, or significant other isn’t just going to fall into your lap.
I’m starting to learn that we have to tell the people that are significant to us that they are indeed important. We can’t just assume that they know where they stand. In addition, we have to pursue the things that we want in life. Careers are no exception. If u truly desire something, go for it. And if u truly love someone, tell them. If u have already….you’re moving in the right direction. Don’t expect things to just start flowing after that though. Road blocks are inevitable.
Seize this day. Do not linger any longer brothers and sisters. The time for that is over. By now we should have a pretty clear idea of what we truly desire in life. Don’t let anything hold you back…Goooooooooo Get It!!!!!!
Unfortunately, this attitude (the first part, not the later) has defined my life the past couple years. I’m becoming rather apathetic and I can’t stand it. I’ve had a couple significant conversations with close friends about it lately, but I still haven’t nailed down why it’s grown into such a monster in my life.
I posted a comment on Chad’s blog thanking him for sharing his thoughts along with props for the great game he and the rest of the team played on Saturday. At the end, I stated that apathy was one of the greatest friends of the enemy. I think it’s one of the primary ways we get "taken out," as John Eldredge would put it. We loose our fighting spirit–sometimes after facing resistance–but, sadly, more often in anticipation of resistance. I often let myself get taken out before the fight even starts.
It’s like that famous scene in Braveheart when William Wallace gives a stirring speech in response to men saying they won’t fight. They figure they’ll die fighting, so they’ll run. Wallace points out that they can indeed postpone death by not fighting…but only postpone it a while.
Aye, fight and you may die. Run and you’ll live — at least a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance– just one chance–to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!
Play it safe and postpone the pain? Or risk it now and either get it over with or achieve the dream!? Seems so obvious when writing it down, but I’ve trained myself over the years to default to safety. Lower risk, minimize vulnernability, act defensively… It just grinds against my spirit…grinds against who I know I was meant to be. But my soul loves it.
The thing is, I haven’t always been this way; that is what’s probably most frustrating. I used to be a lot more ambitious and aggressive. And thinking back to those times bothers me even more, because then I’m becoming the guy who lives in the past; the "remember when" type; the Uncle Rico. Don’t like that very much either.
One incident, one thought, one lie…that’s all it takes to derail months and months of progress. Just look where I was this past February when I wrote about The Return of the King. And I was even better off in that realm when returning from the Wild at Heart Boot Camp, where I transitioned from apathy to victory.
But I’ve again fallen from that state. And in this state, I’m dangerous in all the wrong ways. People get hurt by my relational indifference; job productivity suffers; time becomes frozen as dreams and desires are set aside; the kingdom of God isn’t advanced by the apathetic.
And thus begins the journey back…the fight to reclaim lost ground. It is a kingdom after all–a kingdom that has endured violence and requires violence to be siezed. Apathy doesn’t work.