Complacency is a visitor which hardly ever announces its presence. It just seems to show up, having silently slipped into our house through the cracks between “comfortable and familiar” and “the path of least resistance.” We establish routines, find the short cuts, settle in to what feels good, and before we know it our old friend complacency has gently rocked us into a deep spiritual sleep. Motivation, initiative, alertness and flexibility are sacrificed; though we still call ourselves people of faith, we find that we are in fact slaves to the familiar, fearful (even resentful) of change, and fighting for sameness instead of faithfulness.
Fortunately for our souls’ sake, we don’t live our lives in a vacuum. Try as we might to stave off change and protect the familiar, storms blow, earthquakes rattle, markets collapse, relation-ships fail, and—as with the prophet Isaiah—old and beloved friends pass away. In the case of Isaiah, it was the passing of King Uzziah (who had reigned for more than 50 years) that brought disruption and change to his world. Having lost his grip on control of the familiar in his own tiny world, Isaiah was given a vision of the immensity and glory of God’s true self. In humility, Isaiah shed his mantle of complacency and confessed himself before God, who purged his sin and called him forth to be a witness for the creating hand of God.