Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

May 24, 2013

A positive minute: C is for Complacency

Dr. Michael Layne
Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — Did you ever hear the phrase: "Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today?"

I remember hearing that from my Grandmother who, also had some other things to say to me as I was growing up in her house.

I remember her telling me to, “Never step over a broom if it’s lying in the floor. It’s bad luck.”

Truth is the bad luck would come to my back side if she ever saw me step over anything that should not be in the floor and not stop to pick it up.

The one I like is: “Don’t walk under a ladder.”  Well, that’s not smart, especially if someone is up on the ladder and drops something on your head while you’re walking under it!

The dictionary defines the word complacency: a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc.

If we’re not careful, we will find ourselves “stepping over or, walking under” things that really need our attention and action.

For those of us who are practicing Christians, we must not become complacent with just getting by and developing the attitude that everything is going to be okay. Our Lord even admonishes His followers to “be diligent” and “watch and pray.”

If we are not careful we will find ourselves enveloped in a false sense of security while there really are some dangerous situations around us.

In 1984 I was working in law enforcement in a Dallas suburb. We were just hearing about something called “meth.” We knew little about it other than someone in our community was producing it. We searched diligently for weeks to find this working lab and then, one day, a family walks into the police station to report a “lewd act” committed by their neighbor in front of their teenage daughter.

We go to the residence of the suspect. By the time we arrived he was gone, but as we were walking by the garage one of the officers smelled a “strong smell of ammonia” emanating from within the garage.

Our city judge issued a warrant, we entered and lo and behold, there it was — the working meth lab. Fortunately for the community, the bad guy was complacent with his behavior, not thinking anyone could see inside his house if he left his window blinds open with the lights on. Wrong! It took a 15-year-old girl to see his activities and tell her mom and dad and they, as a family, reported it to the police.

In this case, complacency was a good thing as we were able to close down a destructive problem; however, if the family had been complacent about reporting the situation, we may have never found the culprit.

Please don’t become complacent in your spiritual life.  We have enough going on around us politically that is bringing about changes in our society, government and every area of our daily lives that it calls us to pray and be aware.

Don’t be complacent with worship. The popular mindset these days is that we don’t have to go to church in order to be Christian. Okay, but we need the fellowship and strength from each other in order to become stronger Christians.

We also need our meal around the Lord’s table in order to be strong in faith and not become weak, as St. Paul suggests can happen to us if we are not partaking of The Lord’s Supper appropriately (I Corinthians 11:27-34).

As citizens of this nation, we must not become complacent in our right to vote, speak up and be active in our country’s future. The same applies to Christianity.

Remember the old adage, “Ya snooze, ya lose.” Need I say more?

The Most Rev. Michael Layne, PhD, ThD, can be reached at 812-614-2160 or