Some of the most miserable people I know are also the most comfortable. Even Kathie Lee Gifford has said, “Many of us have become so complacent, spoiled, and comfortable that we don’t realize we are miserable.”
From Max Lucado’s Traveling Light, he writes:
“Are you in prison? You are if you feel better when you have more and worse when you have less. You are if joy is one delivery away, one transfer away, one award away, or one makeover away. If your happiness comes from something you deposit, drive, drink, or digest, then face it—you are in prison, the prison of want.”
You may have everything your heart desires, but do you also have some junk in your life that is adding to your discontentment? I get excited when I see our youngest daughter vacuuming her bedroom, but I always ask her, “Did you empty the dust canister from the vacuum cleaner, before you started?” Then I get that, “Okay, Dad!” response. No one wants to take out their trash.
From my own up and down, blistered, spiritual journey, there is nothing more miserable than being out of step or fellowship with the living God. It’s like a wall goes up, that unfortunately, I built, when I quit talking to God, even though He never abandoned me.
The bad part about being comfortable and refusing to empty my junk is it backs up. I become stagnate. I stink. After a while, others start to smell my foul attitude. It’s ironic that we get rid of our human waste every day, but we tend to hold onto our issues, and our sins. We tell ourselves, “This is a private affair.” But by saying that, we have compartmentalized our lives.
What happens when we refuse to drop our issues and our regrets at the foot of the cross? We indirectly cause those around us to carry our baggage, even though we never intended that to happen. We lash out at others. We refuse to forgive. We give ourselves pity parties. We let our moods control us.
What is the solution to this dilemma? It can appear like a Catch-22. We know being comfortable will not satisfy us, and we know being uncomfortable will not feel good. The answer, I believe, is found in the word discipline.
From the man who had to lay down his regrets for having Christians murdered, who God grabbed a hold of, and renamed him Paul: “All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.” (I Corinthians 9:25-27a, NLT)
Rather than pursue a comfortable life, maybe God is leading you to empty yourself, so He can use you to do what seems like the impossible, on a human scale. Come to the Cross.
pictures courtesy of “Nelson & his Nikon”