Before I even write a word, I can already tell this post is going to be different from what I usually write.
Some might call it a rant.
Though that word has always seemed a little snarky to me, so maybe you’ll graciously label it an impassioned plea instead.
You see, I’m getting pretty tired of this addiction that is enslaving the vast majority of Christ’s Church in America.
It has ensnared us in its grip and isn’t going to let go without a fight.
Dear sisters, we are obsessed with comfort.
In big ways and small, we are constantly seeking our own comfort.
When we’re cold, we turn up the thermostat…unless we’re at work or at church, in which case we just complain about it instead.
When we’re hungry, we eat…unless there’s nothing in the pantry that appeals to us, and then we just get cranky.
When we’re thirsty, we drink…unless we’re out of our favorite coffee, so we instead get irritated with our husbands for drinking the last of it.
(Or maybe this is just me?)
When something is hard, we avoid it.
When something stretches us, we shirk it.
When something convicts us, we shy away from it.
When something threatens to change us, we shun it.
It’s our human nature, certainly.
That makes it sound okay, doesn’t it? Like it’s not so bad, really.
But the thing is, human nature bears nothing of the supernatural.
And I don’t know about you, but supernatural is what I long for. It’s what I seek after. It’s what I crave.
I’ve gotten the briefest glimpses of my God, and they left me wanting to see more and more of HIM until HE is all I see. Ever. And always!
Until my view of everything and everyone else and especially myself fades away.
And call me crazy, but I just don’t think God works much inside the realm of the comfortable. Correct me if I’m wrong (and I really do mean that), but when I look at His Word and I find where He works, it’s usually in outrageous ways. Or humble ways. Or startling ways.
But never in comfortable ones.
It’s why Jesus asked His disciples to leave their professions and their families and their very lives behind and follow Him. Because He wanted to take them so far beyond fishing boats and tax ledgers. He wanted to take them further than they ever thought possible in their wildest dreams.
He wanted to take them away from comfortable…
It’s why Paul said he had learned in whatever state he was in to be content (Philippians 4, II Corinthians 11).
Yes, even in beatings almost to the point of death…while I complain about my head cold.
Even in frequent and distant journeys…while I refuse to travel outside my comfort zone.
Even in many sleepless nights…while I become frustrated when my schedule doesn’t allow for the nap I “need.”
Yes, also in shipwrecks…while I grow fearful over the storm cloud I see looming on life’s horizon.
Even in lack of food and drink and shelter…while I get irritated when the restaurant runs out of the dessert I wanted.
Maybe, just maybe, this is part of the reason why we’re mocked as hypocrites. Because we thump on the same Bibles that tell us to forsake all and follow Him while we’re forsaking nothing and following ourselves.
Maybe that’s also part of the reason why our churches are riddled with immorality and our homes are plagued with devastation. Because the straight and narrow path that leads to life is an uncomfortable one and a self-denying one and a take-up-your-cross-and-do-the-hard-thing one.
Maybe that’s part of the reason why we’re not leaving our mark on the world. (Or rather, why we’re not leaving Jesus Christ’s mark on the world.) Because to leave your mark on something, you have to be different from it. And instead of being different from our world, we’re just joining right in the world’s chase after comfortable.
And that mark we’re supposed to leave on the world? I have a feeling it looks a whole lot like a cross.
But guess what. We can’t leave the cross’s mark unless we’re carrying it.
Will you carry that cross all over this comfort-chasing world (and maybe even your comfort-chasing church) and make your mark with it wherever you go?
Or will you forsake the supernatural…
and stay comfortable?
Written by Jennifer Clarke