I love Cozy. Warm. Comfy. Luxurious. Convenient. I appreciate the security of the familiar.
I hate Unpredictable. Insecure. Uncomfortable. Bumpy. Unstable.
I want a well ordered, well planned life.
I cringe to admit it but I crave comfort.
There are all sorts of gadgets and trinkets to aid me in this avid quest. Microwaves, Kuerig machines, automatic car starters (which I definitely wish I had every time I step out my door in the frozen tundra of Michigan), electric toothbrushes, and on and on the list goes.
My quest for comfort doesn’t end with my physical needs. It permeates so many areas of my life.
My relationships with family and friends – I never want to ruffle the waters too much, say too much. If we can just agree to slide our problems under a rug or hide them in a closet and pretend they’re not there than we can move on and no one gets upset.
My exercise regimen – I have none. It’s too uncomfortable. It makes me sweat, which messes up my hair. Not to mention how difficult it is to walk the next day! Why would I want to torture myself when I can sit on the couch and enjoy a bag of potato chips instead?
And this insatiable drive for comfort moves right in and makes its home in my relationship with God. My comfort demands, “I will follow you God if it doesn’t cost me too much, if you don’t ask me to step out of my “comfort zone”, if it’s safe. I’ll follow you if I can do it from my couch. I’ll write a check and say the token prayer. But don’t ask me to love those who are hard to love, let go of my well-deserved anger, surrender my self-righteousness or set aside time to be with You. And by the way, if I follow You, I expect to be blessed. ”
Nowhere in the gospels does Jesus promote this idea of comfort at all costs. In fact it is just the opposite! The life Jesus lived was a life unhinged, unsafe, and uncomfortable. “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.” Matthew 8.20 (NLT)
And He calls His followers to the same. Matthew 26.24-25 (NLT).
“If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.”
Pursuing comfort is contrary to following Jesus. It’s like oil and water. Light and Darkness. Fear and Trust. They just don’t go together. Jesus calls us to a life that is risky, unsafe and in the world’s eyes, foolish. It is anything but comfortable.
Are you “following” while trying to pursue a life of ease? It doesn’t work. It won’t work.
Will you join with me in getting off the “couch” – that place where you are safe, comfortable and secure – and truly FOLLOW!
Lord, how easy it is to worship the god of comfort. To seek “IT” rather than You. I surrender my craving for comfort, and my need for security. Teach me to NOT just claim to follow You but really do it! Amen.