Entropy is a constant. Entropy is that force that moves life from order to disorder. It takes a newly cleaned room and shuffles keys, books, pillows, and clothing out of their given places and into spots we never dreamed of. In its mildest forms entropy musses freshly combed hair and scatters dust bunnies under the bed.
But it can be a tornado tearing through our goals and desires, our best intentions, turning them to rubble. It is the force that resists and defeats our New Years resolutions. It is the sad pull of gravity that takes a shiny new community and turns it to a ghetto.
Entropy is constant and powerful and often wears us out.
So too our spiritual lives. Spiritual entropy wears us out. Or it does me.
Shortly after Christmas of 2011, my son, Brendan and I decided to call 2012 The Year of Living Spiritually. 2012 would be a year of actively looking for God in daily life. We would notice things we had before brushed over. We would listen better for God in the usual places like Scripture and worship. But we also decided to look for God in art and music and nature and even in pain. In people. We then recorded our discoveries in daily journals and reported them in blogs and our Living Spiritually Facebook page.
It was exhilarating. God was everywhere. I filled my first journal in three months. I felt alive and awake as never before. I prayed more, listened better.
Then came spiritual entropy. I misplaced my journal and missed a day. Then two. Then more. Scripture reading became spotty. People in line at Wal-Mart once again became hindrances to my agenda rather than unique creations of an incredible God. I turned my back on glorious sunsets much less the smaller artistic touches God often puts on a day.
My eyes glazed over (spiritually and physically) and I ceased to see. I’ve failed spiritually. You ever been there?
But I want what I had back. I don’t want entropy to win. I want to wake up again.
So, how does one fight spiritual entropy?
At this point, I’m not sure. But I do know fighting spiritual entropy is different from fighting physical entropy. Cleaning up the messy room is a start but it’s not the ultimate solution. Spiritual entropy gains strength from our puny efforts to tame it or force order into it.
Unlike physical fitness, spiritual fitness does not come from lifting ever heavier weights.
In spiritual living there is this contradictory concept called rest. Jesus said it this way, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
It’s a letting go. It’s counter intuitive. Hard to define. Tough to live out.
So in coming blogs we will try to define it.
And I’d love to hear from you. How do you fight spiritual entropy?
***** As you probably know, we have decided to discontinue writing the Neighborhood Cafe blog. It has been a pleasure to interact with so many of you and I have grown in my faith and life simply by writing and reading the posts and comments here. I hope you have too. I will miss it. But we need not so goodbye. I will continue to write my blog, The Year of Living Spiritually. Click here and look for the “subscribe” button on the right side of the blog. Please join me there and let’s continue to explore what it means to grow into who God created us to be by living spiritually.