Slipping into something less comfortable as many of you have pointed out is not as easy as it sounds. Ironically, one of the most difficult parts of slipping into something uncomfortable requires us to become comfortable with change. Generally, change is something we all want but are afraid to make because it is necessarily unfamiliar and requires us to relinquish control. Moreover, change is harder to recognize than we think. Often times, the very change we need is to become less comfortable with discomfort!
Our daily lives at times can be quite difficult–perhaps we have a bad marriage or an unhealthy family situation, continuing financial hardship or trouble at work. These situations can be so pervasive and complex that we they trap us into believing that they are a fixed part of our lives. As the years wear on, we become so comfortable with the most discomforting element in our lives that it’s the only part we never change.
In other words, our most troubled area can become the constant around which all else revolves. It may even become our defining reason for existing. It has made us miserable so long that we busy our lives with a constellation of unrelated changes but the mother planet of all problems is left untouched and unvisited.
Our cry for change is really a cloaked cry for peace. It’s hard to change and have peace after a life of tumult. Living with peace is not easy and most of us struggle with the symptoms of peace. Peace feels weird and is boring in comparison to the big tumult in our lives.
Too often, we mistake the change we need in our lives for action. We spend all our change energy on the inconsequential and external–our hair, our car, our job, our house. These changes may capture our attention but they don’t help us achieve our potential in God. If you are like me, you’ve flailed around desperately trying to grasp change like its a lightening bug. It’s lit up over there, so we run to it only to find that it’s lit up somewhere else just out of our grasp.
Even when we do focus on internal change we can miss the boat. We work on being more patient or more understanding yet the relationship we are in is a disaster. All the patience and understanding in the world won’t fix it. Everyone around us knows its destructive. We cannot see it, but we love the new haircut.
The truth is we become comfortable in our tribulation. Our discomfort becomes a badge of courage that we wear as a testament to our strength when in fact it is our biggest weakness. We may even convince ourselves that God wants us to bear that cross when nothing could be further from the truth. God wants us to reach our fullest potential and that isn’t possible if we don’t have peace. That is why we must change our comfort with discomfort!