We live in a country and a culture built on a commitment to comfort. We live in pursuit of what we want, when we want it, exactly how we want it. When there’s conflict with what we want, when we want it, or how we want it, you’d think the world was turned upside down.
Chicago was recently hit by a big storm (huge surprise, I know.) The wind took down power lines, which meant that hundreds of thousands of people had no electricity. Our neighborhood was without power for just under 24 hours, which was just enough time for the food in my fridge to go bad. Since we woke up to no breakfast, I did the only thing a good husband and dad can do in survival mode: I went to get donuts.
Apparently I wasn’t the only husband or dad with this idea because the place was packed. After waiting in line to place my order, I was handed my box of donuts and only then informed that their credit card machine was down and they could only take cash. Since all I had was my debit card, I was in quite the predicament. On the outside I appeared to handle it fine, but inside I was irate because God-forbid I have to wait another fifteen seconds before stuffing my face with fried dough. My attitude in a situation like this reveals my commitment to comfort.
My guess is, I’m not alone. The reason you hate sitting in traffic is because you’re committed to comfort. The reason you get irritated when your internet runs slow is because you’re committed to comfort. The reason you complain about the weather, your boss, your teachers, your parents, and your job is because you’re committed to comfort.
The problem with our commitment to comfort is this: The Christian life is incompatible with a commitment to comfort. The entire convention of the Christian life is counter-comfortable. In Mark 8:34 Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” There is not one part of that invitation that suggests comfort. Though we’ve invented entire theologies to the contrary, the fact remains: Disciples of Jesus live lives of denial, not indulgence.
Today you and I have an opportunity to turn from our love of comfort and embrace the call of Christ. It starts with little shifts in our attitude and responses. Let’s trust that Christ is better and that Christ is enough for us and drink deeply of the peace and satisfaction He brings regardless of how uncomfortable life may be.