Why We Need to Be Uncomfortable Once in a While

This week when we got home from vacation the first thing I did was unpack my suitcase. It’s always what I do the minute I get in the door from any kind of trip. I can’t wait to get my clothes and toiletries all back in their proper places. I love going on vacation. But I also love coming back to the comfort of my own home. I don’t like being uncomfortable.

Andy runs through Shenzhen Airport with check-in luggage.

We spend much of our lives searching for comfort. Thankfully air conditioning was invented. Cars provide an easy ride to and from work. Clothes are far more comfortable than they used to be. We now have “wicking” and fiber that stretches.

But sometimes being uncomfortable is a good thing. It keeps us from complacency. It propels us forward. It gives us motivation to move ahead.

Unpacking a suitcase after a trip leads to the comforts of home. But unpacking our thoughts can be uncomfortable. When we unpack why we feel a certain way it might lead to some discomfort about our background or why we are the way we are.

We’ve been doing some unpacking recently at our church. I don’t know about yours, but ours has seen a declining attendance over the past year or so. We have lost pillars of our congregation to a new life in heaven. And the new members that take their places often see regular church attendance as once a month or so. You can read more about that here.

Our church leadership has been ready, willing, and able to get out of our comfort zone and try new things:

  • We reworked the structure of our governance
  • We went to policy-based governance
  • We challenged people to put something in the offering plate every Sunday
  • We challenged people to focus on a statement of Jesus every day for forty days

We have been unwilling to unpack and simply put things back where they were. Though we value worship using the historic liturgy, we recognize that the things that go on outside of worship can have a great deal of variety. They might even bring some much needed discomfort to shake us out of our spiritual complacency.

So go ahead and unpack. But don’t get too comfortable.

Sometimes it pays to be uncomfortable. It might bring about something new and something you’ve never thought about doing before.

What value do you see in being uncomfortable?

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