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Faith and Being (Un)Comfortable
August 14

I'm cheap, which means when I fly, I buy the least expensive ticket, which means I usually don't have a guaranteed seat. To counteract that, I set two-dozen alarms reminding me when it is 24 hours and 30 seconds before my flight's scheduled departure, so that I can avoid the dreaded middle seat! Two weeks ago, all five of us were flying back from Minnesota and when I checked in, at precisely 24 hours before takeoff, I was astonished to find all 5 of us in middle seats! I continued to check (obsessively) to see how many seats were left, and if by chance there might be an opportunity to change seats. We talked to the gate agent AND customer service, but there were no aisle or window seats to be found. Now I'm pretty sure this is universal, but I hate the middle seat. I hate fighting for the armrest, I hate worrying about falling asleep and unintentionally resting my head on a stranger, and I hate not having a person-less side to lean toward. Basically, I hate being uncomfortable and I don't think I'm alone. But what happens when we are never uncomfortable?   

Aside from the middle seat, another area where I worry we don't like to be made uncomfortable is in our faith. We would rather read our favorite bible stories, live out our faith when it’s convenient for us, and engage only in "our" preferred style of worship. If that's where we stay, how will our faith grow? Instead of playing the old favorites, we need to sit with and wrestle with those stories that we know convict us. We need to hear those stories that encourage generosity and condemn greed. We need those teachings where God expands our understanding of who our family in Christ is. We need those stories that reveal our faults when we would rather focus on the faults of others. We need to be uncomfortable in our faith so that we can grow to be the Christians that God knows we can be, so that we can be the Christians the world needs. Will we let our faith hold up that mirror long enough to see that God is still working on us? Will we sit with those stories that we'd rather skip over because, deep down, we know those stories are helping us become a better follow of Jesus? 

I'm pretty sure I will continue to avoid the middle seat like the plague. But I need the reminder to be uncomfortable in my faith from time to time because it is in those uncomfortable moments where my faith has the potential to grow. So, how is your faith making you uncomfortable? What are you seeing in the world around you that you know your faith has something to say about? Would you prefer to silence that voice? Next time that happens, don't silence it but let it speak. That moment might be the Spirit moving so that you can grow in your faith and make God's kingdom a little more present in the world around you. It sounds weird but being uncomfortable might be a holy moment.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Chris 

Last Published: August 16, 2019 9:58 AM