We read in I Peter 5:8, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” This knowledge oftentimes leads me to pray for more courage to stand up against the world, as if the world causes my problems. However, when no healing results, I switch out my prayer and stop lying to myself.
I very well could be dealing with my own apathy, not a lion.
I pray for courage to become less apathetic.
It’s the story of Joseph that taught me this lesson. It’s not the story of the personal Joseph, but the story of how he was connected, more specifically to Moses and the Exodus of the children of Israel.
The personal Joseph has been put down as a hero who saved the people of Egypt and Israel. Joseph has also been put down as a villain who enabled a population to be dependent and enslaved.
As far as the Exodus, there is no conclusive historical evidence that it’s massive movement even occurred, but again, I learn my lessons from the bigger picture, the myth of it all, if you will.
Joseph, an Israelite, was sold into slavery as a teenager. In a zig-zag almost unbelievable way, he ended up ruling the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, because he had a dream that there would be seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine.
During this famine time, Joseph’s family was moved to Egypt so they too wouldn’t starve to death. After the famine, Israelites lived with Egyptians. I can only guess that the Egyptians felt relieved the famine was over and the Israelites felt appreciative for being saved. Years passed. Centuries passed.
Maybe resentment crept in, but the Egyptians started feeling impinged upon and began asking the children of Israel to do jobs around the place. I suppose the Israelites could have done the jobs out of appreciation, but it dawned on me that at some point a few of the Israelites probably felt like the Egyptians could do their own work. Bucking the majority of Israelites who wanted to keep the peace, the few went along with working for Egypt.
The asking quickly became demanding and the Israelites became slaves. Resentment or not, apathy to keep the peace played a role in this high action saga. I tell myself, this wasn’t a case of the Egyptians kidnapping the Israelites and enslaving them, it was a case of the Israelites becoming so lethargic, even though their physical bodies were actively at work in the fields, they were so spiritually lazy that they were basically self-enslaved.
By time Moses came on the scene, the Israelites were fully isolated in Egypt. They had no energy or ambition to seek and stand with their God. They were visionless, except one woman who birthed Moses and took extraordinary measures to save him.
It was a lot of rig-a-ma-roll, but Moses grew up and eventually led the people of Israel out of Egypt and the saga continues.
Anyway, if I catch myself following a peaceful routine and even planning my day so that routine remains, I try to snap myself out of the pending apathy. I do not want to use spirituality to make a comfortable mortal life. I do not want to try to use spirituality to preserve a past. There is no such thing as a peaceful mortal life.
Spirituality is powerfully useful to reveal mental and interconnected peace. Our physical situation is peaceful only when those around us are peaceful to an increasing degree also. I can’t isolate myself from others and I don’t want to isolate others from me. With this in mind, I pray and find there is no famine of spiritual ideas to move forward and respond to this human life with courage and confidence in God, Truth, Love.