Good news! After two-and-a-half months, I finally got my old SUV back from the shop. Just when I’d finally figured out how to get that 30K-dollar-loaner to play TobyMac instead of Snoop Dog. And just before making a perhaps overdue appointment with my doctor to talk about my worsening anxiety!
Even better news is that I actually returned said 30K-dollar-loaner without a scratch! So unlike me, right?
I got the airbag repaired and—
Hey, what was that?
Did you hear something?
Oh, wait a minute…
No worries! It was just my kidney’s sigh of relief, ‘cause God even worked it out so that the bill was actually affordable! BOOYAH! (Thought I’d have to sell one of my kidneys to pay the debt.)
Wanna hear something funny?
After I settled up with Sam Sam the Service Man’s minion and got the keys to Sweet Pea—think I forgot to say that’s what I named my car. I climbed in and had a seat. I was so thrilled because I wouldn’t have the debt of buying another car, and I may actually have brakes again.
So thrilled that I was crying in the service center parking lot.
Like. Literally. Crying. Subtle streams of gratitude—not an all-out “ugly cry,” at least.
before my nose could even start running, my cry turned angry! (So, I guess at that point it probably looked like an ugly cry.)
They’d broken my seat!
I couldn’t lower it. Stuck up in the air like I was sitting on a camel’s hump.
No matter what I did, I couldn’t get my seat to lower down to a comfortable position. Couldn’t get it to go back down to where it used to be.
After having my car for so long, I expected as much from them. Out of my sight and loving care for so very long.
Should’ve seen that coming.
Poor Sweet Pea! What had they done to you?!
So I had myself a little one-on-one, expressing my, ahem, uh, deep dissatisfaction at the thought of my having to tell Sam Sam the Service Man he’s got to let me have that missile of a loaner car back, which meant my becoming a rocketeer again. Something that would most likely also result in my biting the bullet—begging my doctor for a much-needed prescription!
Oh, and what about the waiting—more waiting? For probably another two or three months…the inconvenience…the cost…the….
Worked myself up into a real frazzled frenzy.
You ever do that?
(Girrrlll, you know you do.)
Then God reminded me that these people knew me as a Christian. I’d mentioned it in a previous conversation.
I took a deep breath and asked Him to please help me go back in there with patience and leave with my witness still intact. ‘Round here we call that being “prayed up.”
So I wiped my face and readied myself to, yet again, say farewell to the old gal.
Then, friend, it hit me…
There was nothing wrong with the seat.
There was something wrong with me.
I realized my ever-widening tushy was sitting in the same position it had been for so many years.
Apparently, I’d grown so used to driving that lustrous, low-ridin’ loaner that now my once familiar car had become anything but.
Didn’t see that coming.
Despite my being a nervous wreck driving the loaner car these past couple of months, somehow, some way, some part of me had become cozy with the unfamiliar and unwanted. Settled into a comfortable uncomfortableness, unknowingly welcoming the foreign while I waited on the familiar.
So I had a good laugh at myself—something I do a whole lot more since I’m older—and left for home.
I felt so strange, jockeying this giraffe on a runway jam-packed with gerbils. Took me the first 10 miles to get over the fear of being up so high—still wondering how the familiar had become so foreign.
About the last half of the trip, we seemed to have slipped back into the cozy and comfy rhythm the two of us had once shared—like old friends catching up after months of long-time-no-see. Just like old times!
Nearly an hour later, Sweet Pea and I had finally made it back to the Hobbit House.
I turned off the ignition and breathed a long sigh, thankful I was back in my comfort zone and all seemed right with the world.
I grabbed my purse.
Opened the door.
Definitely didn’t see that coming!
Hello, concrete driveway.
Obviously, I’d unknowingly gotten in the habit of merely stepping out of that state-of-the-art-hover-craft that was a measly six inches off the ground.
Fortunately, this spill wasn’t quite as bad as my last slip-and-fall, courtesy of the melted butter my son so generously slathered on the kitchen floor, as you may recall.
All this got me thinking about comfortableness.
About awareness—or the lack thereof.
About how so many things in daily life can seem so insignificant, so mundane, and maybe even comfortably uncomfortable.
Even get so comfy we grow blind to things. Simply aren’t aware of how unaware we are, ya know? Our guard comes down, leaving us exposed to the elements of the enemy.
So comfortable with the way things are that what was once vital, imperative, of life-blood importance has become old hat, ordinary—even though we said that would never happen.
Couldn’t see that coming.
I wonder if we’ve become comfortable with things we said we’d never be comfortable with. Made allowances. Compromised. Settled.
Especially when it comes to the things of God.
No longer able to identify sin as sin.
No longer willing to sit with our uncomfortableness long enough to take a stand—to be BOLD for Him.
What I’ve realized about myself this past year (with so many life changes and a fair share of discomfort) is that when I’m uncomfortable, I’m very aware of what’s going on around me.
And I’ve got proof…
You probably saw that coming.
Last night there was a big, brown spider IN. MY. HOUSE. Actually, in my bathroom, which means I’m terrified to go in there! Sorry, kidney—looks like you’re in for it after all.
[Note to self: Call pest control and tell them they need to come back ASAP because they obviously missed a spot last month]
To say I’m uncomfortable would be an epic understatement.
Basically, I’m paranoid!
So much so that whatever it is I think I see becomes a big, brown spider to me!
And so beware, good dust bunnies and lint balls of the world! Because if I see anything that even remotely looks spiderish on this fake-wood floor of mine, I’ll crush you like a Ritz cracker so fast and—
Oh, but I digress…
Basically, my point is that I’m now uber uncomfortable, which means I’m uber aware. My eyes are wide open, scanning, shifting, searching for something with lots of legs….
Afraid to see that coming!
Uncomfortableness is what jars us awake. Causes our eyes to be opened to all that we’ve been running past at Mach speed. It’s what stops us cold sometimes—makes us look at everything closer, a little differently—even lint balls.
An acute, authentic, all-out awareness of what’s going on around us—that’s what being uncomfortable births, friend.
An intense alertness of not only all that’s going on around us, but, more importantly, of all God’s done for us.
And this extreme mindfulness gives way to our obedient responsiveness—well, hopefully.
And with the help of the Holy Spirit, this desire for obedience takes precedence over our fear of uncomfortableness—throws it out the window.
It’s what makes us long to be closer to God than we were yesterday.
Lift our hands in praise to Him, no matter who’s watching.
Bend our knees at a crowded altar.
Compels us awake, rising 30 minutes early to have coffee with Christ.
Points us to a time when taking a stand for Him is worth the risk of being embarrassed or ill-at-ease.
A time when we no longer shy away from calling our own sins what they really are—sins, not merely bad habits, addictions, issues, illnesses, idiosyncrasies.
It’s what prompts us to, once and for all, “get real.”
Can you see that coming?
That awareness that makes us no longer okay with the superficial lack of intimacy we share with the bunch of people we live in the same house with. It’s what makes us stop long enough to hold a gaze—so long that it’s nearly awkward—maybe even full-blown weird—to take time to memorize our loved ones’ subtleties, nuances, and intricacies.
It’s awareness that reminds us we’ve forgotten to look up, put our eyes on Him—so consumed with all that’s around us, all that’s dead ahead. Reveals we’ve fallen prey to the enemy’s trap—found sought-after comfort but lost our Holy-Ghost unction.
It’s what prompts us to once and for all stop tinkering around with eternity. It’s what prompts us to get honest with ourselves about our own eternal state. BTW: Nail it down, already!
And so I challenge you as I challenge myself. Let’s embrace discomfort. Let’s just get over the familiar and welcome the foreign—it’ll all be okay, I promise!
Let’s take a stand for the things of God, despite the discomfort.
Because of the immense, immeasurable, incalculable discomfort He endured for you and for me on the Cross.
Let’s stop doing what’s always been done. Let’s…
Desire obedience more than ordinary. Christ-like compliance more than carnal comfort.
Perhaps I’ve gone and made you a little uncomfortable with my boldness today, friend. But isn’t that the whole point? I couldn’t challenge you to do anything I’m not willing to do myself. Just wouldn’t be fair. Just isn’t me. But I do it all in love.
So how ‘bout it? Ready to “get real,” extinguish the spiritual status quo, and start burning for Him?
I sure hope so.
One glorious day that old sky’s gonna split wide, friend. And those who believe will be caught up to meet The Lord of lords, King of kings in the air. And the last thing I want to have happen in those these last days is to be too comfortable, a sleepwalker unaware of my surroundings, blind to what is and has always been The. Most. Important. —His imminent return.
May we all see that coming!
Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. Mark 13:33
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