The Problem With Comfort
Here are some thoughts on the comfort of suburban life. By comfort I mean the idea that in the suburbs we don't really need anything. We make enough money to buy everything we need and most of what we want. These are incomplete thoughts that were written a few months ago but I wanted to get them out there and see if they resonated with anyone. So, without further ado, here they are:
Comfort kills our desire to fight for something we believe in. Comfort says 'that's too hard, you don't have time, you've got a BBQ to attend and then a neighborhood association meeting to run.' Or 'there's risk in doing that, you better play it safe.'
Following Christ is hard and there is inherent risk. Christ didn't come to give us a comfortable life he came to give us a full life. That full life is a result of Christ being murdered for us. Did he die for our comfort? Or did he die for something more than that?
Often times we fail to understand how great his grace is and how terrible our sin is.
It's this lack of proper understanding that, among other factors, leads us into a life of comfort. satan uses comfort as a way to numb us to what is really going on. We see injustice, we see people who need Christ, we see opportunities to build community and we don't act because it would be too hard, risky, time consuming, fill in the excuse. Heaven forbid we miss 'Grey's Anatomy'.
We'll even miss funerals because of work. How messed up is that? We're so caught up in the 'normalcy' of American life that this has become ok. It's awkward at a funeral anyways and it's too much of a hassle to work out the details of travel, so we'll just send a card and maybe some flowers.
This has me on edge for a number of reasons not the least of which is the fact that I am guilty of everything I've ranted against so far. And it pisses me off. I see the need to change but I don't. Some people will say 'at least your acknowledging it, that's the first step' which is true but that can't be the last step. If that step doesn't lead to more steps, to growth and progression, then it is pointless and, frankly, depressing.
What I'm looking for is equilibrium. A balance between the extremes we are so easily drawn toward. I believe God calls us to a faith that is full of tension.
We must contextualize in the midst of the tension of between scripture and culture. We must use our finances in the tension of providing for our family and giving sacrificially. We must have community in the tension of diverse cultures and we must love in the tension of grace and justice.
God calls us to this tension, this equilibrium, because it isn't homogeneous, it isn't cookie cutter. It's active, diverse, and crazy. It's hard to live here. But it is exactly where God wants us to operate. And that is where I want to be.