"Why do we have to go?"
Not naming names, but this question was whined out by one of my four little angels as we prepared to leave for church early yesterday morning.
I know, shocking.
So to those of us who believe in a higher power: Why do we go? Why does an active spiritual life matter for any of us?
Well, the goal of faith is to focus our attention on what we typically race past, see what we frequently miss, draw us closer towards our Creator, transform our interior lives, elevate the manner in which we show up in our external lives and provide confident hope in tomorrow.
It liberates us to become better versions of ourselves and challenges us to bravely show up in a world desperate for authentic love.
The goal, though, is far from self-focused and much more universal. It's about expanding, surrendering, and growing in order to better serve those around us.
Globalization of Indifference
Pope Francis coined an expression, globalization of indifference.
He shares, "Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God's voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of love is no longer felt and the desire to do good fades."
The Pope continues, "We end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people's pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else's responsibility and not our own."
An active spiritual life is not reserved for an hour on Saturday evening in the temple. It's not set aside for just 56 minutes on Sundays in church. It's not as simple as following a few rules, singing a few hymns, checking a few boxes.
Regardless of how we choose to worship, faith challenges us to elevate the way we think, work, relate and live. It opens our eyes to suffering, brokenness, possibility, and hope. It sensitizes us to the needs of others and our role in the solution. And it transforms us from the inside out.
If I Could Rewind 24 Hours
My friends, that should have been my answer to my little one yesterday when he asked why we have to go. Instead, I firmly told him to "grab a jacket and get in the car!"
But for each of us - regardless of our personal creed or level of zest in our faith - we might benefit from stepping into this week striving to be highly sensitive to the needs of others.
Let's strive to become passionate in seeking ways to serve, impact, inspire and encourage a global community starving for hope.
And let's remember that the only thing worse than hatred, or ugliness, or heresy or even death is a passive indifference in life.
Together, let's seek opportunities to put to death indifference… starting with our own.
This is your day. Live Inspired.
John’s most recent book title is On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life. To order copies in bulk for your event, please visit BulkBooks.com.