Entropy

Entropy. Heat death is not cold; it is lukewarm and dull. “There is a universal tendency to [energy’s] dissipation, which produces gradual augmentation and diffusion of heat, cessation of motion, and exhaustion of potential energy through the material universe. The result of this would be a state of universal rest and death.”—William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, in James Gleick’s, The Information. Conversely, “mixing, violence, continuous motion…constitutes heat….Heat is no substance…just the motion of molecules.”

When John hears the accusation against the church of Laodocia, that they are lukewarm, does this really rattle him? does it rattle us? Am I so complacent in my complacency that lukewarm reminds me of a lovely spring day? Does it not concern me that even the action of becoming cold, requires energy to generate the state of coldness? Heat is an action. Molecules must act together, mixing—even violently—in continuous motion. If a few molecules stray, more follow and entropy occurs: stasis. Status quo. Lukewarm and dull.

Still, one molecule cannot generate heat. Continuous motion sounds exhausting, rather impossible. In truth, it is precisely the opposite. It is the mixing of the many that generates heat, the energy, whereby continuing that élan—the information—along its course, a moving force: light, heat, the Word perfectly communicated in all its potency and life. I do not think it is fully understood (if, at all) that apathy is not an isolated condition. Just as many molecules are required to effect energy, one molecule separating from that motion draws more away and then the few are left isolated, none with which to be hot. Come Holy Spirit, jumpstart these molecules. Come down on us with tongues of fire to ignite and unify us once again to action, to life.

By Nicole

Nicole Oliver Snyder’s expertise lies in the areas of leadership, gender issues, and mindfulness practice as it affects both. Leadership, particularly in an urban setting, requires community-relations skills, and an ability to clearly convey justice issues as they relate to felt, spiritual ones. Dr. Snyder is author of Leading Together: Mindfulness and the Gender Neutral Zone, and specializes in teaching mindfulness leadership development, formative spirituality, counseling, and Old Testament theology (emphasis on justice issues). She has a diverse background in international community-relations work combined with volunteer work in multi-ethnic communities, and with local institutions. She is an ordained Clergy; holds a BS in Human Development and Family Studies, w/Education Certificate, an MA-Counseling, MDiv Equiv., holds a Doctor of Ministry and Advanced Certification in Formative Spiritual Direction, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor (MI).

1 comment

  1. Makes me think of that song, "Entropy, I'm not half the man I used to be,…"Good words for us to come together in order to reverse apathy though. In unity is energy – in isolation is stagnation…

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