Monday, November 26, 2007

Passionless Comfort

I walked in my statistics class today only to find that it was a study day. Meaning we could study in class. Or study out of class. Or proceed at our own risk in any other direction.

I chose the latter. :)

Funny, but I can't seem to study unless, a) I am perfectly comfortable and not sick, b) distractions are minimized c) I am in my own house - preferably propped up with pillows on my bed, and d) a cup of hot herb tea is comfortably sitting beside me. Add to these e) I need frequent breaks in the form of spots of idleness in order to refocus.

Yes. I'm serious.

Apparently comfort is a high priority for me these days.

Comfortable I am. Disciplined and focused I am not. What is wrong with this picture?

Thinking about how I need to discipline myself in my studies reminded me of how we are called to be "uncomfortable Christians." It's a thought that is often passed over, but the examples we are called to follow in the scriptures were followers who were radical, passionate, firm, and unnervingly uncomfortable.

How different from our typical boxed in Christian expectations. We are comfortable with our Christianity. We are comfortable going to church on Sundays, it's so much a part of our routine that we don't even need to add it to our jam-packed schedules. We are comfortable keeping up our end of a Christian conversation. We are comfortable praying out loud, and saying "God bless you;" in safe, comfortable settings of course.

Yeah. The comfort is definitely there, but what happens to the passion? What drove John the Baptist to the desert to live on locusts and in camel hair? Doesn't sound too comfortable to me... neither does the idea of being jailed and persecuted; a real threat to many Christians who don't have the same luxury of "comfort."

Yet He promises if we give up comfort for Him, He will be our source of comfort Himself.

"For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows."
-2 Corinthians 1:5

I think that if we step out of our comfort zone and our "comfortable Christian" lifestyle, He who comforts us will keep His promise to preserve our lives, and His real comfort will be present in the form of His unfailing love.

"Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones."
-Isaiah 49:13

Stepping out of a too comfortable routine takes courage, yet what kind of a reward is merited with a lack of risk?

Uh huh. I need to work on my study skills, but at the same time, I would like to be open to stepping out of my entire "comfort" routine in order to follow Him more fully.

Hmm, I wonder if one can become "overly comfortable" with "discomfort." ;) I shall have to ponder this next... :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thank you Oh my Father

“We often forget the Source from which the blessings of fruitful years and healthful skies come … No human wisdom hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God … I therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States … to observe the last Thursday of November as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens."
-Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Psalm 17:15

"And I—in righteousness I will see your face;
when I awake,
I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness."

Monday, November 12, 2007

I saw something beautiful...

A young man kneeling at the church altar
An aging elder, with a four footed cane
Slowly, with difficulty making his way up the aisle
Jerky movements, yet steady progress
Painfully settling beside the young man
To pray with him

I saw something beautiful

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Lord is Able to Make Him Stand

"Therefore, let anyone who thinks that he stands...

...take heed lest he fall." I Corinthians 10:12

"And he will stand,
for the Lord is able to make him stand. "
-Romans 14:4b