Indifference

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Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

I was just at a fast food franchise picking up breakfast, and the thought about company culture crossed my mind. The clerk’s indifference as I left was noticeable. I returned the indifference.

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the movie Crash, but to sum it up without giving any plot spoilers I’d say it’s a 2-hour story about chain events. One action creates other reactions. It’s common sense. I press a key on this keyboard, and letters appear on WordPress. If you don’t get enough sleep you’ll be tired the next day. If you don’t invest in your marriage don’t be surprised if it fails you and your spouse. If you tailgate someone in traffic or cut them off you might be flipped off.

You get my point.

Making the world a better place can be that simple. Our ancestors came to this country in search of religious freedom. Every world religion has some adage about loving others. We aren’t very good at that are we? I could speculate about how COVID-19 was created, but I’ve refused to do that because that’s just what it would be – speculation. As human beings we are good at playing the blame game, and we don’t practice taking personal responsibility for wrong doing. The balance I seek places the blame on the clerk at the fast food restaurant for being indifferent. I let their non-caring attitude perpetrate my non-caring attitude. I drove away from there not wishing good-will on that person, but rather I drove away angered they didn’t try to make a human connection.

I brought that anger home to my wife, and the indifference spread. My dear brother Jason taught me that what I do matters. I do not exist in a vacuum. My actions have an indelible effect good and bad on others. That’s not cocky pride. That’s a reality that each one of us experiences daily. That’s especially true in this age of social media. You have influence. I have influence. The fast food worker as influence. Those who scrub toilets with Clean Houses have influence. You don’t need a million followers on Twitter to affect someone.

As a Christian I want Jesus to be the greatest influencer of my life. I fail in that everyday, but he does not cast me into hell every time I sin. He’s never once rejected me because of my wrong doing. Jesus was sinless. Jesus was tempted just as I am tempted everyday. He lived a life on this Earth tempted everyday just as I am. He never asks me to do something he hasn’t lived through himself. We justify our wrong doing constantly don’t we? Well I had a right to be indifferent to that fast food worker because they were indifferent to me. How is that turning the other cheek that Jesus continues to encourage us to do through the power of the Holy Spirit? Returning good for bad is hard. When I feel mistreated by gut reaction is revenge. I don’t want to love people who are mean to me. In fact I want them to suffer more than I did. That’s the message of the evil one in the world.

It’s not the message of our Father. I am beyond thankful my Father continually loves me in the face of my darkness. My darkness is black as could be, and sometimes I glory in it. I joke about it. I laugh about it when it “doesn’t” hurt me. Darkness hurts. Indifference is darkness. Hate that leads to murder is darkness. Sexual desire that leads to sex outside of marriage is darkness.

My LORD and my God want complete surrender from Her children. Yes I said her because even though we see God as Father he created mothers, and I firmly believe if God can’t move others through men then he will not hesitate to do so through women. There is a world of hurt out there, and it’s been here longer than COVID-19. It predates our existence and generations before us. All of us from the time of Adam and Eve have been rejecting God through indifference and hate. There’s nothing new under the sun as it says in Ecclesiastes. What has been will be again. But that’s also true of God’s love.

The next time I go through a fast food drive-thru I’m going to try to express love instead of indifference.

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