Fighting Entropy or Spiritual Failure

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.


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5 responses to “Fighting Entropy or Spiritual Failure

  1. Georgie-ann

    When you said “rest”, you took the words right out of my mouth,… “active” searching connotes effort, like stretching elastic, but it also must be relaxed to maintain its inherent healthy elasticity,… “passive” reception is another polarity in the spiritual dynamic, and I find it to be very healing and restorative,… it is one reason I have enjoyed the Catholic church in my later years,… lots of chance to rest and receive, meditate and pray,… wake/sleep; breathe in/breathe out; give/receive; full/empty; do/contemplate; appear/disappear,… we are not the source,… love God, others, ourselves,… take as good caring care of yourself, as you would of someone else,… it is not as much about accomplishing so much, as it is about living gently, surviving well, having peace, integrity, personal honesty and wholeness,… it takes an ongoing different kind of “general awareness” than constant mental alertness,… we can’t boast, but only be thankful for God’s gift of life in us,… “Lord, help me to play out my life like a well-centered LP record of beautiful music, peacefully resting on your masterful stereo player,… my life is yours, Lord”,…

  2. Georgie-ann

    I want to thank each of you, Brendan, Eugene, and Michael, for all your original creations that have opened up this blog-conversation,… as a “token” of thanks and appreciation, I will leave each one a music sample from you-tube, that I think the Lord just led me to (via a slightly unusual dream),…

    for Eugene (this is a long one, but great!):

    thank you,… I hope it works,… otherwise I’ll give you the ID info & you can find them on you-tube,… God Bless!

    • Thanks, Georgie-ann. You are a friend that I never expected to find and a very good argument for no longer separating generations. Your wisdom and spunk are all the more rich because of your longevity. Eugene

      • Georgie-ann

        Thanks, Oogene,… and you’ll be “getting there” yourself, as “time marches on”!,… I appreciate the opportunities you’ve all given me to “say my say,”… (Old people like doing that!),… and it’s actually very satisfying to imagine that someone might have even listened now and then! (-:

        The way my life has played out, I feel very very blessed,… but also feel that I’ve learned a lot of things — for various reasons — that not everyone experiences (or would even want to, in their right mind!),… To be sure, I’ve been a serious “God seeker” for a long time, and have had many specially blessed opportunities,… but I also faced some dreadful challenges, and “through it all” have learned what a winning ticket we have in holding on to God — (and sometimes for dear life!) — and ever pursuing greater knowledge of Him,…

        For these reasons, it is a blessing to give my own personal testimony about “How Great Is Our God”, and share some of the personal experiences and ways He has shown Himself to me,…

        Thank you & God Bless!

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