Many of us have, at some point in our lives, come into contact with that foul beast called apathy. It's a frightening monster, because when we find ourselves trapped in its clutches, we simply don't care enough to fight it back. We are content to remain trapped, bereft of motivation or drive.
So what should we do to overcome apathy? What can we do, for that matter? As with all problems, apathy is surmountable. We can overcome.
Ask God for Strength and Willpower
Of all the steps, asking God for help is the simplest and most overlooked one. All too often, we forget that "with God all things are possible" (Mark 10:27) and "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). But before we can utilize the strength to do the impossible, we must first ask our Creator for it. This way, we remain conscious of where our help and deliverance are coming from—not from ourselves but from God.
Understand Where Apathy Comes From
God has an amazing plan for us. Every day we face new opportunities to grow in His character, and every Sabbath and annual Holy Day returns our attention to the eternal plan He is ever working toward. That same plan can provide us with both the drive and motivation necessary to get up and face each day.
Apathy comes when we lose sight of this plan, our future and its importance in our lives. The source, the very origin of apathy, is a loss of focus on God's plan. And in losing sight of what God is doing, we distance ourselves from Him. A friend of mine, in relating her story of overcoming anorexia, confided in me that she had realized not only that God did not like what she was doing, but additionally that she didn't care. That realization was enough of a shock to jolt her out of apathy and into action.
So let's ask ourselves: Is a state of mind where God doesn't matter to us really where we want to be?
Once we realize that we need to be doing something, the next step is to go out and do it. Is that an easy task when we don't have any real desire to? No. But if we wait until we care enough to do something, then we'll never do anything.
We need to be the ones who break the cycle, whether we have the motivation to do it or not. We must pray to God for strength and then plow ahead.
Sometimes it helps to have someone "light a fire under us," so to speak. If we are apathetic, it means God's plan and God Himself have dropped from their appropriate position as No. 1 in our lives. This is not okay. God demands and belongs in that No. 1 spot. By placing Him anywhere else we jeopardize our salvation.
Let me put that another way. As long as we are apathetic, we are in danger of losing our promise of eternal life and a future in God's Kingdom. If that doesn't scare us enough to shake off our numbness, what will?
God is not asking us to overcome this alone. Talk to Him. He is with those who turn to Him—but the decision to overcome apathy has to be ours.
What to Do
As far as what we can be doing, the possibilities are limitless. In serving others—following the example set by Christ (Matthew 20:26-28)—we can often recapture that sense of purpose we have come to lack. (Don't forget the principle set forth in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12: With the help of others, such tasks become easier.) Reaching out to others gets our minds off of ourselves; and as a result, we can become motivated to continue on a path of service. Ask your local pastor for suggestions on how you can help in the congregation. Studying the Bible to better understand a topic of interest or a previously unexplored section of Scripture coupled with prayer can help rekindle the fire as well.
The most important thing to remember is that with God's help, we can fight our way out of the grasp of apathy and finally slay the beast. With the promise of the future He has set before us and the opportunities we encounter every day to grow into the son or daughter He wants us to be, there is no room for apathy in our lives. Let's get doing.UN