I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called…
…because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
1 Peter 2:21
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…
Scripture is filled with poetic action language describing the Christian life.
Follow in His steps.
And do it with all your might.
You know what The Bible doesn’t say? Settle in. Rest on your laurels. Get comfortable.
To be fair, there’s nothing WRONG with comfort. But comfort shouldn’t be our number one priority in life.
Any athlete knows that if you put comfort first, you’re not going to get very far.
Anyone who is handling their finances well…
Anyone who is making good grades….
Anyone who is in a successful relationship….
Anyone who is trying to make a difference knows that comfort cannot be the top priority.
But, boy, do we love us some comfort, don’t we?!
We fall into the trap of thinking that God wants us to be lazy, happy, and comfortable.
If it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling than it’s probably what Jesus wants for my life…
ALEXA! Would you order me that workout DVD? I’m in the middle of a Netflix binge right now and I can’t get off the couch.
I remember John Ortberg a few years back referencing a fascinating study at U Cal Berkeley on amoebas—the tiny single-celled organisms. In the experiment the scientists made life as easy as possible for the amoebas and then measured the results of their stress-free life.
The researchers removed all stressors from the environment. Whatever gives amoeba’s grey hair and high blood pressure…they took it out of the equation. The petri dish was as comfy, cozy as possible.
And what happened? The amoeba’s died.
Apparently even in gooby-globy organisms there’s a need to be challenged in order to thrive.
I believe part of living out a life with Christ is spending time with people who are different from us. Others who are uniquely designed by the Creator—to be both encouraged and challenged by them.
You see this in chapter 3 of The Genius of One:
We will not grow without the friction and encouragement of others. God set it up this way. Our connection to one another is not just how we survive in this world. It is how we will prevail. It is how we will glorify and honor Jesus.
Friction can be good for us. It’s good to bump up next to people who have different ideas.
Because if we don’t—if we stay in our cozy, little comfort zone—if we only hang out with those people who look like us, act like us and vote like us, well, then, we’re simply resting on our laurels. That’s how we become stale and irrelevant.
That’s how we become boring.
God is not calling us to a boring life. He’s calling us to a life full of purpose and relationship.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
MAKE IT PERSONAL:
- Take a step outside your comfort zone. Make a plan this week to have coffee with someone you need to get to know better. Someone who isn’t just like you.
- Ask questions.
“Whatever the average number of questions you ask in a conversation, up it by a question or two.” – The Genius of One
I wanted to share a quote I was reminded of from a book I read:
If we stay where we are, where we’re stuck, where we’re comfortable and safe, we die there. We become like mushrooms, living in the dark, with poop up to our chins. If you want to know only what you already know, you’re dying.
You’re saying; Leave me alone; I don’t mind this rat hole. Really, it’s fine.
When nothing new can get in, that’s death. When oxygen can’t find a way in, you die. But new is scary, and new can be disappointing, and confusing – we had this all figured out, and now we don’t.
New is life.