A few weeks ago, Brian Orme posted this quote:
“The pursuit of comfort is in direct opposition to Jesus’ vision: the Great Comission.”
I read that and I was straight OFFENDED. Ha! Now, Brian is someone I highly respect and who I usually agree with so this was a little bit of a red flag to me.
I really enjoy being comfortable. I like soft blankets, snacks at my disposal at all times, I love amenities. I also have spent most of my life attempting to craft every situation into something comfortable to me. “Don’t say that… they won’t like it.” “Protect your self with a joke here…” “Don’t say how you REALLY feel- say what will make them comfortable.” “Hard sitch? AVOID AT ALL COSTS!” To use some BOrme phrasing, “Hello, Manipulation.” ;-)
This really got my wheels turning. Is my life style in OPPOSITION to what I would say is my greatest passion? Enter the Beaver Creek Hike.
Every year, Chi Alpha goes hiking to Beaver Creek. It’s about a 4 mile hike to a sparkling creek where you can swim & cliff jump. The canyon walls rise around you as you hike in. You don’t get to see these views every day. And yet every year I dread it.
It’s freaking hot. You have to climb up a little elevation. On top of that, you get done and then you have to CAMP aka sleep on the ground. This is the opposite of comfortable. I was having crazy anxiety leading up to the trip. The first time I went on the hike I hyperventilated and quit. I almost threw up last year and I cried on the way out.
Before this years trip, I kept repeating to myself, “You like this.” “You like to challenge yourself.” “You will have a good time.” “These trips build community.” I even bought a shirt that said “FUN DAY” so I could really get my head in the game. I visualized myself finishing the hike smiling.
As I was processing and preparing to go against this very real fear, I had the realization that comfort was not my goal. My be-all-end-all is to grow. I want to get better. I want to be more compassionate. More mentally strong. I will never learn to enjoy a hike or have a hard conversation or extend a hand or live generously if I don’t make myself uncomfortable. It’s just like in spin class– we add resistance to get stronger. Do I hate those parts of the class? Obviously. But I wouldn’t get any stronger or any better if they weren’t there.
We’re also reading James in our Connect Group– that’ll punch you in the face:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
I don’t want to lack any thing. I don’t want my comfort to come at the cost of not pursing the advancement of the Great Comission. So I press on towards higher and harder terrain with perseverance, joy, and maybe a few snacks. :)
Here are a few pictures so you can all see what I suffered through. ;-)