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Apathy

Mouths open and close with hippopotamus-like yawns as another day of school begins.

Eyes are heavy with sleep: minds are dull with the thought of another day in school. When the mouths are not open yawning and sighing, they are moving incessantly chattering about last night’s television programs, the latest hits in pop music, or the latest sports spectaculars.

The teacher enters the room and prepares to begin the lesson, but for all the jabber he remains for a time inaudible. He begins by asking, “Let me see the hands of all those who have completed their assignments?”

Out of a class of thirty, ten hands are raised: the remainder showed not a sign of remorse.

As the teacher walks to the seat of one who has not completed his assignment, the minds of others start to whirl in with futile attempts to concoct excuses and alibis.

“Well, Jerry,” the teacher begins,” where is your assignment.”

Nonchalantly Jerry replies, “My ma forgot to put it with my lunch.”

“Well, you are fifteen now and your mother still must pack up your things for school,” the teacher explodes.

Jerry shrugs his shoulders and smiles sheepishly. The teacher moves this time to a young lady.

“Pat, did you finish your assignment?”

“No,” Pat replies, “I went to a birthday party for my uncle last night, and I didn’t get to bed ’til after twelve o’clock.”

“It is more important to attend birthday parties than to finish the work you are supposed to do.” The teacher peevishly retorts.

Sweet excuse, finding apathy; deadly apathy.

Another week of school is over and now it is Sunday. From the back of the church auditorium people appear very attentive, but off to the side heads are nodding hypnotically as if agreeing with the preacher one hundred and fifty per cent. Another look reveals that these are young people set to sleep, i.e., knees propped against the bench in front of them. Three things throughout the sermon disturb them: a peppermint from a neighbor, the collection basket, and the doxology (and this not quite). Apathetic? Yes. Pathetic? Indeed.

When the incessant chatter of young voices stops, Young People’s Society begins. Prayer is offered; prayer is ended; talking begins. The president calls for the meeting to come to order so that the lessons from the Word of God may begin. He begins by asking very frankly, “How many of you have prepared for the lesson?” A few hands, precious few, are raised.

A bit peeved the president retorts, “How do you expect to learn God’s Word if you do not study it? I must prepare, I must study, and I must work. Why can’t you?” Silence, absolute apathetic silence follows. The Sunday evening was cold and clear. In the distance the windows of church shone brightly on the newly fallen snow. The evening service was over and a singspiration sponsored by the young people’s society followed. Sponsored by the young people? The audience was made up of primarily older people and young children. Where were the young people?

Ask them and the answers are varied:

“I had a special date, and I didn’t want to take her to our little, or’, small singspiration.” or “I really don’t like to sing.” or “I had to go home and study because I didn’t study Friday or Saturday night; saw two basketball games instead.” Or “If my girl and I go to the singspiration, we less time to park.” Or “I just didn’t feel like it.”

Dangerous apathy? Yes. The devil’s subtle tool? It most certainly is! Is apathy- destroying your spiritual life, covenant young people?