Thursday, April 18, 2013

Revelation 3:16 - The Cry of the Complacent

Solid Rock Downtown - The place to be at 8 p.m. on Sunday evenings in Portland.

Last week at the church I attend on Sunday evenings, I made my way up to the prayer room that is provided for people who need prayer, have questions, or simply want somebody to talk with. I had several things on my mind, and made the trip as much for prayer as for the chance to talk my thoughts out with a brother in Christ.

It just so happened that I met with Mike, the downtown pastor at Solid Rock, the body that has become my home over the last two years. I laid out several of the things that were on my heart: I still hadn't called the woman who had given me a business card out of the blue at work (view previous posting for context), I had been dragging my feet on starting a missional community in an area that God had presented to me, and a few others. Each instance being a time that the Lord had opened a door that either I refused to walk through, or walked through slow and late.

Over the course of several minutes of open, honest conversation, Mike said that I should look and try to find the root of why I hesitated to jump through the doors and windows that God had wide open in front of me. Was it fear? Pride? Did I feel undeserving? Or was it something else?

I told Mike that I would think and pray on it (which I have done, but it needs more work), but that initially, I know that one of my most common tenancies is to simply keep the status quo - doing what is necessary to keep things the way they are, and nothing more. I'm motivated by desperation more often than not, and things don't happen until the last minute, or won't happen at all if I don't see them as essential.

They call me a hipster, sometimes.
In that respect, it is complacency and a fear of disturbing the peace that seems to halt my response to God's promptings. That, mixed with the pride of thinking that it was my hard work that got me my current coffee-job, was what has stopped me from calling that woman. Having to change my schedule, talk to people in new ways, or take on a new role is what has stopped me from contacting the Missional Communities ministry leader. I might, might get into something uncomfortable.

While this complacency is a habit that needs changing in all areas of my life, there isn't any waiting to change it in respects to God. My sister has promised to make my life difficult if I haven't called the woman by Friday, and Mike directed me to the man in charge of the ministry, but moving forward in this battle with complacency is still very much a battle that I don't know how to win.

For now, it's baby steps. I'll call that lady tomorrow morning, and I am about to draft an email to the pastor at my church, but it's a problem that I'll need help in solving. Thoughts?

"So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth." - Revelation 3:16


  1. I've struggled with complacency my whole life. College assignments don't get done until the night before they're do. I've passed up several opportunities to write professionally without even considering them; months or years later, I think, "Hey, I could have been paid to write. Why didn't I do that?"

    No easy answer, but I agree with what you're doing. Small steps in the direction of productivity and independence are key. Force yourself to do something, if you must, so long as it gets done. The more you make yourself take risks, embrace opportunities, and create your own goals, the easier it gets.

    Not that it's easy for me--I still struggle with complacency far too much. But to me, it seems like the cure to complacency is relatively simple, and you seem to have similar ideas about them. The key is making those cures happen, avoiding excuses, and thinking.

    Complacency takes root when a person doesn't think enough. It's hard to be anxious about something or ambitious about a new opportunity if one is distracted and content. Re-evaluation and serious, unbiased thought make new opportunities seem less threatening and more important. Intellectual laziness is the real trap, one I fall into far too often--if you're not thinking about your life in relation to all you know and believe, you've no reason to change at all.

    Good luck, anyhow. Not the most coherent when writing informally, I know, but I hope I presented at least one original thought.

    1. --This is Cameron, by the way. Just created an account but can't undo the "Unknown" username above.

    2. I think that the next post might just be about intellectual laziness, actually. I choose to shut out the world because it's easier.

  2. Remember that complacency is a tool of our enemy, to render us ineffective. The best way to fight back, I've found, is to ask God to show us more of who He is... when we are overwhelmed by God's love and awesome-ness, it compels us to action! We are not called to a life of striving to do better and be better, we are called to a life of relationship with God- and that relationship is what inspires and motivates us.