31 JULY 2017

The Poison of Indifference

Our swimming pool has actually gotten too warm. That’s right. Without any mechanism to heat it – just the sun – it has gotten so warm it is no longer refreshing. When the kids were little we had races on blocks of ice just to make the tepid pool fun again! The pool now must be closely watched in order to make sure it does not become a breeding ground for algae. You may think I’m just whining about our heat again, but that is not my point.

I’m just wondering how often I am spiritually growing algae because I’ve allowed my heart to grow indifferent. I wonder how often I have lost touch with the fire of God without even realizing I’m the one who has let go. Like being spiritually pick-pocketed, I’ve grown so ambivalent toward what is so sacred that I am bereft of it without even noticing.

I’m not trying to beat up on myself. I know we all go through times when we have difficulty kicking ourselves into gear. C.S. Lewis calls this “undulation.” It’s normal to have times when burn-out or fatigue tries to cripple our forward motion and make us doubt our sincerity. But what I’m concerned about is a time that may start with undulation, but becomes chronic. It becomes a way of life. These are the times when we must fight back. But how?

This was the problem in the Laodicean church. The hot waters of Hierapolis were to the north of them and the cold streams of Colossae were to the south of them. The hot springs of Hierapolis were thought to have wonderful healing properties. People would flock to them in hope of finding relief from every manner of pain. The cold springs of Colossae were known to be a source of refreshment. Weary travelers went out of their way to experience them. But Laodicea was stuck in the middle, notorious for its lack of adequate water, not offering the world a drink of anything that would be truly beneficial.

Who wants a drink of lukewarm water from a stagnant pond? We need to be either hot waters of healing or cold waters of refreshing and the way to be that is to be near the Source. Jesus, speaking to the Laodicean church gives them this cure, if they are willing. He says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)

Getting in close communion with our Lord, our Source, is the only remedy for the hopeless stagnation and ineffectiveness we may have slipped into. We must have this time with the Lord flowing into us if we are going to have anything worth giving to those around us.

“Lord, please let my life glorify You! Let me be a vessel through which You can minister a healing pool or a refreshing drink. Please purify my vessel of all contaminating bitterness or apathy. Let me be a vessel to minister Your grace and love.”

“’If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.’” John 7:37-38