My generation struggles a lot with apathy. A Gallup study found that 70% of U.S. millennials are disengaged at work. In fact, out of all the generations polled, millennials are the least engaged population in the whole U.S. workforce. Gallup described engaged employees as “those who are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace.” The study shows that millennials are working in jobs that don’t engage their talents and strengths to the fullest. The millennial generation (those born between 1980-1999) is a highly ambitious generation, but struggles tremendously with disengagement.
Whether you’re a millennial, baby boomer, Gen X’er, God wants you to live life to the fullest. Jesus said in John’s Gospel that He came to bring life and life abundantly. God wants you to be engaged, forward thinking, expansive, bold in how you handle your work, how you relate to your friends, and how you get along with your family.
Don’t you want to live life with an anticipation and expectation that isn’t built on getting through the day-to-day, but on how big, powerful, and loving God is? And how this majestic, all-powerful God wants to use you in ways you can’t even imagine now?
To beat apathy you need to remember that perception is key.
The LORD who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine! David said to the Philistine, ‘You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
1 Samuel 17:37
Perception was everything to David. His perspective was shaped by the power of God, not the power of his circumstances. The soldiers of Israel were all looking at the same situation and the majority saw an impossible obstacle in Goliath. David saw through the obstacle and saw an opportunity for God to be glorified. He wasn’t the strongest or most competent of the group. He wasn’t trained in warfare like Goliath. He just had a greater awareness of his advantage: that God was fighting for him.
Perception is the key to accessing God’s power in any situation. If you find yourself struggling with apathy, fighting to stay engaged in your workplace or in school, I want to encourage you to look again at your situation with lens of faith. You need to let the Holy Spirit reorient your perspective. God has purpose for your life and it’s not some distant, mysterious destiny. God wants to use you right where you are now.
It is imperative that we look at things in the right light. Looking at your life in the wrong light can cause you to see things that aren’t really there. We start being ruled by fear instead of living by faith. Your situation may not be as bad as you think, but you’re spending so much time in the shadows, in your pain, that you’re scared about things that you really shouldn’t be scared of. You’re depressed at things that shouldn’t depress you. You’re constantly upset at things that shouldn’t upset you. Check out this verse:
I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.
Disengagement often occurs when we get bored waiting.
But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God!
1 Samuel 17:34-36
“Dorrell, you don’t understand…I’m so tired of waiting for something new. I feel like there is no way out.” Ok. I understand that, but can I ask you a question? What battles are you winning while you wait? You’re so ready to be at the next thing, you’re so ready to fight Goliaths that you haven’t dealt with the lions and the bears. How do you expect to beat Goliath when you haven’t done your due diligence with the lions and bears in your life? The Word of God says:
Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…
Learn to wait well. Learn to win while you wait. I understand how hard it can be. And it’s only exacerbated by what this world tells you. This world will tell you that you haven’t started to live unless you’ve arrived. Your marital status isn’t this so you haven’t arrived. Your income isn’t this so you haven’t arrived. It’s not the dream job you’ve always wanted so you haven’t arrived. There’s always the next thing. There’s always something new. And so much mental and emotional energy is spent on that thing in the future that you have no faith and enthusiasm for the here and now.
Disengagement in your current context sets in because you’re so focused on arriving that you miss the very season of preparation God wants to take you through to get you ready for that next stage. You need to realize that your present situation is the very thing that God is using to prepare and equip for your next season.
What am I trying to say with all of this? Don’t Count the Days Make The Days Count.
I saw this quote the other day: One day your life will flash before your eyes make sure it’s worth watching. You can beat the disengagement that you’ve been experiencing. You don’t have to succumb to apathy. You don’t have to dread going to work tomorrow. God is molding and shaping you for the next season. Don’t miss out on what He is doing in your life right now.
I’m Harold Dorrell Briscoe. Thanks for reading.