Monday, October 11, 2010

Becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable

I have a new-found appreciation for being uncomfortable.

It seems like it's been years that we've been living in a state of permanent discomfort.  No, not because of our ratty old couch (which should be hitting the curb this week, yay!), but a more emotional discomfort caused by life's trials and tribulations.  Call it stress if you wish, but for me it's been something more like the result of a deliberate, Divine act of pulling me apart from the world.

Imagine a vine: Its tendrils are seated firmly and comfortably deep, deep into its surroundings.
The vine needs this for stability, for nourishment.  I suppose the vine has concluded that it would not be able to live without being firmly attached to where it lives.

Now consider a Christian: Like the vine, your typical Christian becomes very attached to where it lives.  Sinking down roots, the Christian lives and works in a community, doing so for God's glory and the salvation of man.  The Christian forms meaningful relationships with others that bring benefit both to himself as well as to them.  He thanks God for all that He has given, and praises God for the blessings of life and living.

But eventually, even the most devout Christian begins to believe that he can't live if his roots were pulled up.  That the emotional and financial nourishment that his perceived stability brings must remain intact in order for life to continue.  His sense of living is tied directly to his sense of comfort in knowing his surroundings well.

But the Christian forgets that he is not the vine . . . he is merely the branch.

I'm not the vine.  I'm not.  Christ is.  My job is not to draw my comfort from my surroundings, but rather receive nourishment from Christ.  And while all the things that make me comfortable are good and gratifying and God-given, they are not my source of life and living.

So in a bizarre twist, I'm trying to feel comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.  To wonder what happens next.  To feel displaced in the world.  Because when this happens, I am more likely to recognize that my true source of comfort is Christ.  The vine--and not my surroundings--gives me the nourishment I truly need.

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