Are You Comfortable?
I was watching a ball game Saturday and noticed that Bella, our little Maltese, was going to an awful lot of trouble to get comfortable. She went on and on on for several minutes before I got the bright idea to film her, and then it took me awhile to get the camera rolling. What looks like a minute here probably took her 4-5 minutes.
Sometimes she'll do this same little dance in my lap before settling in. And when she goes to all that trouble, you really do hate to disturb her for something as petty as getting up to go to work or get a sandwich. And when you do, she looks at you with a combination of hurt and disbelief. Bella takes getting comfortable very seriously indeed!
I'm afraid I probably do too; I like to be comfortable. I was, after all, sitting in my easy chair watching a ball game while musing over Bella's comfort dance. Or course, I have given Lynn the new comfortable chair and have taken the one that hurts her back-- my easy chair doesn't count as all that easy. And the football game I was watching Wake Forest play Duke-- that doesn't really count as football. We don't have cable, so I don't have access to all the ESPN goodies that less spiritual people enjoy. But I was pretty comfortable... and I liked it.
I ran across a quotation from Francis Chan in a video presentation that reminded me of the fact that "God has never called anyone to be comfortable." One of the reasons Moses comes up with excuse after excuse in Exodus 3-4 was that he was pretty comfortable tending sheep in Midian. If you translate "I am not a good speaker" or "I'm from an obscure family" or "they won't listen to me" really comes across as "Lord, I'm really pretty comfortable in Midian tending sheep." God had other ideas; He usually does. And He often has some choice things to say to people who get too comfortable; these texts make me uncomfortable--
Woe to you who are complacent in Zion, and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria, you notable men of the foremost nation, to whom the people of Israel come! (Amos 6:1)
But God drags away the mighty by his power; though they become established, they have no assurance of life. He may let them rest in a feeling of security, but his eyes are on their ways. (Job 24:22-23)
Now then, listen, you lover of pleasure, lounging in your security and saying to yourself, 'I am, and there is none besides me. I will never be a widow or suffer the loss of children.' (Isaiah 47:8)
It was when Nebuchadnezzar was "at home in my palace, contented and prosperous" that God sent him the vision that made him afraid (Daniel 4:4-5). Isaiah has harsh and stern words for the women of Israel who were "complacent" and felt "secure" (Isaiah 32:9-13). Jesus tells of the Rich Fool who was so comfortable in his prosperity that he said to himself "Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry" (Luke 12:19-21).
So maybe we should be really uncomfortable when we get a little too comfortable! That reminds me of something Dad would say before giving me my next chore he expected me to jump up and get done. He'd say, "Don't get comfortable." Maybe God is telling us the same thing?