Fighting Entropy or Spiritual Failure

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Entropy is everywhere

Entropy is a constant. Entropy is that force that moves life from order to disorder. It takes a newly cleaned room and shuffles keys, books, pillows, and clothing out of their given places and into spots we never dreamed of. In its mildest forms entropy musses freshly combed hair and scatters dust bunnies under the bed.
But it can be a tornado tearing through our  goals and desires, our best intentions, turning them to rubble. It is the force that resists and defeats our New Years resolutions. It is the sad pull of gravity that takes a shiny new community and turns it to a ghetto.
Entropy is constant and powerful and often wears us out.
So too our spiritual lives. Spiritual entropy wears us out. Or it does me.
Shortly after Christmas of 2011, my son, Brendan and I decided to call 2012 The Year of Living Spiritually. 2012 would be a year of actively looking for God in daily life. We would notice things we had before brushed over. We would listen better for God in the usual places like Scripture and worship. But we also decided to look for God in art and music and nature and even in pain. In people. We then recorded our discoveries in daily journals and reported them in blogs and our Living Spiritually Facebook page.
It was exhilarating. God was everywhere. I filled my first journal in three months. I felt alive and awake as never before. I prayed more, listened better.
Then came spiritual entropy. I misplaced my journal and missed a day. Then two. Then more. Scripture reading became spotty. People in line at Wal-Mart once again became hindrances to my agenda rather than unique creations of an incredible God. I turned my back on glorious sunsets much less the smaller artistic touches God often puts on a day.
My eyes glazed over (spiritually and physically) and I ceased to see. I’ve failed spiritually. You ever been there?
But I want what I had back. I don’t want entropy to win. I want to wake up again.
So, how does one fight spiritual entropy?
At this point, I’m not sure. But I do know fighting spiritual entropy is different from fighting physical entropy. Cleaning up the messy room is a start but it’s not the ultimate solution. Spiritual entropy gains strength from our puny efforts to tame it or force order into it.
Unlike physical fitness, spiritual fitness does not come from lifting ever heavier weights.
In spiritual living there is this contradictory concept called rest. Jesus said it this way, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
It’s a letting go. It’s counter intuitive. Hard to define. Tough to live out.
So in coming blogs we will try to define it.
And I’d love to hear from you. How do you fight spiritual entropy?

0 thoughts on “Fighting Entropy or Spiritual Failure”

  1. I have adopted Winston Churchill’s famous quote of “Never give up” to fight spiritual entropy. Still not easy – I go thru similar ups and downs, just as you described. But I don’t quit fighting. It would be so easy to just slip under the waves of the world – just do what I want – and sometimes I do – only to suddenly realize my lungs are out of air and I am suffocating. God shoots me back to the surface and I grab a ragged breath of air and start swimming again.
    I can’t tell you what makes me not quit – it has to be Jesus, because alone I am not a strong person. But I believe he gave me a determined spiritual core of Grace and Forgiveness that allows me to keep trying.
    Interesting that you mention “rest” – yesterday I was struggling with a situation I am having with a co-worker. I was frustrated and angry on drive in, railing in my head to God about how I needed direction and strength. Amy Grant’s “I Surrender All” came on my ipod and I remember looking at it and saying “FINE!” – Lol! And God’s continued message was that He would take care of it and why was I spending so much energy in worry and anger. Rest. Letting go. Sometimes God has to drag me there kicking and screaming.

  2. Great thoughts. Isn’t it just like God to give an answer like “Surrender All”? Is there a difference between resting and “never giving up”?

    1. Good question. I think so – if only that ‘resting’ in the world is different than ‘resting’ in God. I think most of my ‘rests’ are in the world, which prompts me to have the “never give up” kick in. Food for contemplation for sure – I want to learn to rest in God instead.
      Also, glad I re-read my comments about surrender. I needed that again today. Funny how God has to repeat Himself with me a lot…makes me feel like a kid again…ha!

  3. LisaAnn

    I’m so sorry you have been struggling with a hard time, but I admire your strength and honesty for admitting it. I think many of us are too proud to even recognize those moments when we have derailed. Facing the truth seems like a powerful first step.

  4. those moments where god and spirituality seem to disappear reminds me of the book of Job from the bible… where satan comes to god and says ya ya Job is great but if you took it all his stuff away he wouldnt be a believer anymore, and God allows hiim to be tested. So in those moments that we seem to be lost again, just stay grounded and remember “this too shall” pass. just kinda the spice of life. because as a child i remember thinking wow isnt heaven a boring place? of course, now that ive been thru so much entropy or whatever you’d like to call it, i love every second of life no matter how boring it is. from what ive heard satan/entropy/lazyness are the Defense Attourney for a city court. if that makes sense. hopefully answering this will make it more apparent in my life as well, because no matter how far i get, i always seem to forget from time to time, tho i get better every day

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