Comfort Zones

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Do you ever get a bit of inspiration from God and then suddenly it seems like He’s beating you over the head with it, bringing it up everywhere you look? That happened to me recently while pondering the idea of comfort zones. First, in a Chris Stefanik talk, then in a secular book I got for Christmas, then in Season 4 of the Chosen, “comfort zone” has been everywhere. Clearly God wants me thinking about comfort zones.

We all have them. Safe places we live in, can usually control, or return to when things are out of control. Boundaries of what we will and will not do to maintain our sense of safety. There is a need for comfort zones. They keep us alive, safe.

But our comfort zones can also hinder us. If we hold onto their boundaries too tightly, they become prisons. The thing that is meant to free us to live becomes the very thing that prevents us living freely. And as a result, they can prevent us from growth, from progress. Because growth is always uncomfortable. Progress always requires that we step forward from what we already know into what we don’t yet know or have mastery of.

Next to time, discomfort is the second most cited reason people say no to God. Instead of following His will and trusting Him to keep us safe, we decide to keep ourselves “safe.” Our comfort zones, in this way, have become false idols that prevent us from authentically worshipping God. The walk of discipleship is uncomfortable. We only have to look at Christ on the cross to know this. We have to love God more than we love our comfort zones, or we have let our comfort zone become our god.

It's the same with our neighbor. We struggle so much with the discomfort of talking to others about Jesus. It’s too awkward. We don’t want to offend. Isn’t God worth some awkwardness? Isn’t their salvation worth the risk? We must love other people more than we love our comfort zone, or we risk them never getting to know Jesus. We might even risk their salvation.

Our love of God and our love of our neighbor MUST be greater than our love of our comfort zone. Or we aren’t really following the God of the Bible. The God of the Catholic Church. The God who came to die on a cross that we might have life…not that we might be comfortable.

So this Lent, I challenge you to make your Lenten resolution stepping outside your comfort zone. Do one thing each day (for God) that is uncomfortable. Say that prayer. Mention Jesus by name. Start that Bible study. Or simply open the Bible and pray. Because if we learn to get comfortable being uncomfortable, there is no end to what God can do through us.


Ready the Way

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Ready the way! Each year on the Second Sunday of Advent, we hear readings which focus on preparing for the coming of the Savior. The prophet Isaiah tells of the voice in the desert; (John the Baptist) calling to prepare the way of the Lord. The mountains will be made low, the valleys filled, the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people shall see it together! My particular favorite verse today is “Comfort! Give comfort to my people.” (Is. 40—1) In this particularly difficult time/year, we all are stressed, on edge, or just good old-fashioned burned out! How can we prepare the way today? How can we prepare a place in our hearts for the Lord when we are weary? Advent is a time of renewal as we celebrate the seasonal reminder of the presence of God with us. Indeed, the presence of God IN us. With God in us, we can heed the call of Isaiah who calls us to be comforters, to speak tenderly. And, in these difficult times, we can assure each other that like a shepherd, God feeds us, gathers us, carries us, and leads us with care. As we navigate our Advent and Christmas preparations during this time of pandemic, however that may look for you, let's bring God's comfort to all!

Posted by Paul Burzynski