“Other times, God in his infinite mercy makes us unable to live with ourselves any longer. He supernaturally reaches out and places a tiny spark of provocation in our hearts that over time erupts into a wildfire of holy discontent.”- Brian Jones
In Chapter 3 (“Holy Discontent”) of Finding Favor, Brian Jones references a portion of Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey. Specifically, Pastor Jones refers to an early stop at the island of the lotus eaters. When Odysseus and his men dropped anchor at the island to resupply, they failed to realize that idyllic place represented a trap. For anyone who ate the fruit of the lotus plant never wanted to leave. The plant’s toxin lulled them into sitting in the sun and relaxing forever.
Consequently, Brian ties this story to the Christian life. Christians, the author notes, often find themselves in situations they know they must change. But, in the words of Homer, they’ve “lost all desire.” Thus, Pastor Jones describes this spiritual lethargy:
“I mean we’ve simply stopped caring. We’ve resigned ourselves to the fact that this is the mess we find ourselves in and can’t muster the motivation to find a way out. . . . I’m talking about an unhealthy acceptance of a situation, friendship, or mindset that we know (and God knows) needs to change, but we simply wait. . . . One bite of the lotus plant leads to another, and then another, until we grow quite content with being stuck.”
You soon look back on an entire season of your life when you’ve been disengaged as a Christ-follower. When you fail to engage Christ, you lack His power to keep you focused and energized in your faith. It’s the same power that raised Jesus from the dead (Ephesians 1:18-20).
Today’s question: How has God reached out to place a tiny spark in your heart, igniting a wildfire of holy discontent? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Replacing our well-trod excuses with sacred rage”