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Can You be too Comfortable?

August 1, 2012

I didn’t want this to happen. I was really looking forward to participating in worship in my home church. The day before, I had officiated at our son’s wedding in the very same sanctuary. And then it happened. I don’t know whether the adrenalin wore off. Maybe it was the heat that made sleep difficult the night before. But try as I might, I found myself nodding off as Pastor Bill was teaching us. I was trying to stay present. I was following most of the message, but suddenly it was over and I realized I didn’t catch every word.

As I was thinking about my snooze, one of my defensive thoughts was, “What do you expect? You take a person out of a hot sun drenched morning and sit him in a cool air conditioned room with a padded seat. I was just too comfortable!” “Too comfortable…” could that be a metaphor for how I am in church? I am comfortable in church. I like to come and have my life massaged and affirmed. I like it when the sermon makes me feel like I’m really a good Christian. I like the music to be familiar. I like church to be comfortable. Maybe too comfortable. Maybe so comfortable that I am falling asleep spiritually. Even though I want to be alive and awake to the Holy Spirit, my habits cause me to become lethargic and indifferent.

In my mind, I want to pray more earnestly in my quiet time. I want to worship more intensely. I want to share my faith more effectively with others. But I find myself snoozing. I don’t stay focused in prayer. I miss opportunities to share Christ. I’m so comfortable in my routine that I fail to fully engage the life God invites me to live. I embrace the parts of discipleship that make me feel comfortable and categorize the other elements as old-fashioned, irrelevant, or optional.

Pastor Bill, my apologies for drifting off and falling asleep as you brought the Word and sought to make my soul awake and alive. I am uncomfortable admitting I fell asleep. I hope that I have learned to be more open to discomfort. God may be using the uncomfortable to awaken my soul. Isn’t that a comforting thought?

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