Well, summer is virtually over, vacations have ended, school is back in session, and the warm temperatures are still with us. All of these are a part of the normal routine of life in Texas. I dont know about you, but at this time of year the emotional blahs can really set in. Not sure why. Perhaps because the fun in the sun is waning and the fun of the holiday season is still months away. I dont know; it just seems like at this time of year it is all too easy to become lethargic, apathetic, and less focused. Entropy may even occur.
What is entropy? Entropy is a term from the world of physics related to the second law of thermodynamics (Google it!) and the availability of energy. Essentially entropy speaks to the fact that the universe is slowly but ever assuredly winding down. It’s the idea that everything left to itself has a tendency toward randomness, i.e., decline, degeneration, or deterioration.
Regarding entropy, the noted pastor, author, and bible teacher John Ortberg writes: It’s not only one of the great enemies of the universe; it’s one of the great enemies of the human spirit. A person becomes apathetic or complacent or settles for the path of least resistance in some area of life. Dreams die and hopes fade. A terrible thing happens: a person learns they can live with mediocrity.
Is entropy (emotional and spiritual decline, degeneration, or deterioration) encroaching upon you? Have you
become apathetic and lethargic? Do you feel like your dreams are dying, your hopes are fading, and complacency and mediocrity are the low aims of your life? Well, it could be this time of year is influencing such feelings, or more likely, it could be the sheer circumstances of life are simply beginning to drag you down.
Since Scripture warns us that entropy is a great enemy of the human spirit (Proverbs 1:32: the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them), being both subtle and destructive, we find two pieces of great advice in handling this struggle in the Book of Proverbs.
First, the wise person should always be on the lookout for early signs of entropy. Proverbs 27:23-24 speaks of someone having livestock and how they need to monitor the livestocks condition. Though the words speak of farm animals, they are true in every area of life: “Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds; for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations.” Every day, not just during the post summer months, you have to be on the lookout for entropy. Though things might be okay in your life today, that doesn’t mean that they will remain that way. Put any important area of your life on autopilot, and you risk entropy setting in. Be on the lookout!
Second, Proverbs 3:5-8 gives us a prescription for dealing with spiritual and emotional entropy: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. 8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. The three-pronged pathway away from entropy and toward spiritual and emotional health is:
- Trust in the Lord with all you got and not in your own limited thinking and resources.
- Submit to the Lord in everything and He will get you where you need and He wants you to go.
- Refuse to be a wise guy, who pursues his own sinful desires, and rather respect the all wise God by doing what He desires and staying away from evil.
Dont let apathy, complacency, or mediocrity settle into your life in any regard at this time of year or at any other time! Dont let your dreams die and hopes fade! Do what the Proverbs say! God has way too much He wants to accomplish in and through you in this season and in every season of your life.
Stay the course. Stay sweet. Trust the Lord!
Your friend and pastor,