Lately I’ve been thinking about complacency. It’s defined as “a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect or the like“. And I suppose that kind of fits me lately. Lately as in the last few years. Take this case in point:
When I moved eleven months ago, I discovered two large scorch marks on my kitchen table, directly under where the microwave had sat for the previous four years. I am not one to use the microwave a whole lot, maybe a few times a week, maybe less. However, these burn marks were fairly large, pretty deep and dry. They’d been there a while. And I never noticed when the wood and varnish fried, nor did I spot any smoke. Had I never moved the microwave, I’d still be oblivious to them today.
That sort of fits the description of complacency. Right? So that got me to thinking.
What else have I been complacent about in my life? What else do I allow to coast through my life, feeling quiet pleasure and never being aware of any potential dangers until it’s too late? Probably, if I really knew, I’d be as shocked to learn as I was to discover the scorch marks on the table.
Okay, maybe I would be better served to ask how to be watchful and alert to my complacent moments, so I could avoid long term (or even short term) consequences. Take now for example; I am nursing one huge headache. I get them, they agonize and linger and eventually leave. To some extent, I have become complacent about them.
Because it’s not unusual to get them, for varied reasons, I don’t worry much. They are certainly not pleasant, but I just pop a few pills to keep the worse effects at bay and muddle on, waiting till it finally abates enough for me to feel alive again. Could it be there might be a potential danger ahead that I am unaware or unconcerned with, since I am too wrapped up with the fact my head aches?
It is possible. And it’s a good example of a moment of complacency. And there are several more should I want to spend the time searching them out. Perhaps as we all rush headlong into the coming seasons of celebrations, we should pause for a few moments to consider what areas of our lives we have each grown complacent about.
Faith? Family? Friends? Health? Home? Work? Relationships? There are so many to consider, this list is by no means conclusive.