Can you avoid apathy? Is apathy the inevitable result of numerous illness’ or recurring disappointments in job promotions and relationships?
Jerry Edelwich and Archie Brodsky develop four stages in the burning-out process. The enthusiastic stage comes first. The creative energy and excitement about making a difference in the world seldom translates into fruit. Good intentions generally outweigh results.
Stagnation follows enthusiasm as one keeps knocking their head up against entrenched traditions, resistance to change, and the grinding daily-ness. The distance from the second stage of stagnation to the third stage of frustration is a short one. The final stage arrives when a person settles into the status quo after their enthusiasm for life and making a difference cools.
It is hard for many middle aged persons not to become apathetic concerning their children, career’s, relationships or health when they feel they’ve tried with so little success without enough time left for the situation to change appreciably. It makes little difference whether apathy arrives early or late in life. The devastation remains the same.
Someone doesn’t get the help they need. Because everyone thinks someone else will help, perhaps someone better able to help, apathy results. The fear of being inadequate for the task, being less capable than another, or causing harm may lead to apathy. Faith for a better future and hope that all is not lost fade. A feeling of abandonment and worthlessness grows. The quicksand of apathy closes in.
When we give up on life and others, we give up on ourselves. Apathy leads to the absence of action. The anchor of apathy keeps us moored where we are and forward progress is rendered impossible. Inaction guarantees failure.
Although action does not always, perhaps often, does not lead to success; the lack of action guarantees failure. Abandonment is the only solution; not abandonment to fate or failure. Rather, abandonment to the will of God guarantees the continuance of faith, hope, and love.
God has plans to prosper you mentally, physically, vocationally, relationally, spiritually, or in a configuration only He can see and understand. Make no mistake, the heavenly Father will never forsake you. If you abandon yourself into His hands instead of to apathy, He will deliver you to heaven!
Jesus demonstrated such abandonment in the Garden of Gethsemane before he was deserted by his closest friends and betrayed by a member of his inner circle. He could see where life was leading and was experiencing one negative after another in life.
He cried out, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Hundreds of years earlier, Job chose this same path of abandonment when he declared, ““I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The LORD gave me what I had, and the LORD has taken it away. Praise the name of the LORD!”
Job received twice as much as before from the Lord in this life. Jesus was killed, rose from the grave, sits in the seat of honor next to God the Father, and will return with power and glory. Either in this life, the next or both, abandonment of self to God keeps faith, hope, and love alive and growing.