Something I Learned From Today’s Garfield Comic Strip

Anyone who knows me really well also knows that I am an avid Garfield fan. I can’t remember when my love for this overweight, sarcastic cat began, especially considering that I loathe cats, but I do know that my love has been existent for quite a while now. My collection of 33 Garfield comic books should prove just how much I dig this cat. No pun intended!

Now I must tell you, when I read I comic strip I am not looking for any pearls of wisdom. I am not looking for a life lesson that I can apply to my life or any other significant learning. All I want is to add a little bit of laughter and a little bit a humor to my oh so serious life. But as I read the strip for today online, the wheels in my mind began to turn:

Like every other strip I have read, this one was funny. And so I laughed. But as I read it again, I thought about just how much it speaks to my life and perhaps the lives of others out there. When confronted with the societal injustices of our day, we are all compelled to do something. We all know that we should do, could do, ought to do something to change our world for the better. However, I find that all too often we get stuck at this place. Passion becomes a substitute for action, in that we somehow feel like caring about an issue is enough to bring about justice. But it doesn’t, not unless we are doing something with it.

For many of us, I think the problem is that we don’t know exactly what to do. We see the atrocities going on in Syria, the killings in Afghanistan, the famine in East Africa, the homicides in Chicago, the slaying of an innocent teenage boy in Florida and although we know that something must be done, we do not know what that something is. The needs of this world start to overwhelm us, and rather than propel us into activity, they render us useless, paralyzed into oblivion.

But what if we did the next thing. What if we picked up a pen and wrote a letter to our senator to influence them to support a bill that would increase humanitarian aid in international countries? What if we scheduled a meeting with our pastors and other leaders of our church to encourage them to create an evangelism and outreach plan to reach the neighboring community? What if we wrote, what if we prayed, what if we agonized, what if we protested? What if we just did the very next thing that was in our reach in order to move us from being passion oriented to being action oriented.

Maybe that one move won’t change the world, but perhaps in our moving we will unlock something in us that will. Hello inertia!

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