What is the most comfortable place in your house? If you ask wives or girlfriends, the answer for their husbands or boyfriends might be “The Throne”. Can you really argue? If it wasn’t true, you wouldn’t spend so much time there. Which side of the bed is yours? Mine is the left, possibly because I am left handed. When my youngest moved out of her crib into a big-kid bed, I started to sleep next to her to help her get comfortable. It became such a routine, though, that I sleep there sometimes even if she’s not there. And so much of a routine that I have trouble sleeping in my own bed with my wife the few times a week I get to sleep there.
Most people strive to be comfortable. A comfortable couch, comfortable chairs, comfortable clothes, comfortable car. Some people have “their” chair that no one else is supposed to sit in. There is even comfort food, which I have been eating too much of lately. People work hard to be comfortable. Work hard and save a lot of money to buy a house to store nice things that make life easier, have modern conveniences to assist with that goal.
For some people, life is war and they never get comfortable. They don’t really get to sit and relax. Life is a battle in some way as they try to stay afloat and dream of getting ahead. People are looking for just a little bit of slack in their lives.
The last couple of years, I have been lucky. I have been rather comfortable. There have been some challenges, but they were not the kind of challenges that make or break people. They have been more like hurdles to step over that put a slight strain on current life.
So I’ve been comfortable for a long time. You may not know it depending on who you are, what question you ask me, and the answer I give you. If you asked me how work was going, it might sound like I hate my job and am about to go postal soon (if you’re too young to know what “going postal” is, Google it). Neither of which are true, but I had to clarify with my wife that I don’t hate my job or the work that I do, because she wasn’t sure. I am dissatisfied and hoping to contribute more to the world. I just should could complain less is all.
In light of current events, I feel a need to activate, to get involved, which I have never done before. There is not a lot I have done other than email politicians and contribute with some donations. There are many places to participate, and I haven’t taken the time to find a good place to do so in between my job and my family. However, some podcasts and sermons I’ve listened to over this year have been talking about stepping out of comfort zones, and I’ve felt a desire to step up and step in.
Regarding work, like I said, I feel dissatisfied. The job is good-I feel I am contributing positively and am helping people; I am doing something I am good at and comfortable with. Also, the company I work for is good. It is stable, and I am paid well, given an opportunity to support my family. The leadership at the top wants to bring the company into that prestigious arena of “Best Places To Work.” They send out surveys, suggestion boxes, and I express my opinions, because I do want to be a part of the process and make it a best place to work. Last year I joined the “People Committee” that was formed to improve morale and the company culture. The company has a recognition website that everyone can give encouragement to one another. Managers and People Committee members can give points to fellow employees to recognize their hard work that can be cashed in for shopping gift cards. After I joined the committee and some of my coworkers started noticing I actually had points to give out, they were a little nicer to me. I wonder if that was a coincidence. Hmmm? Some other benefits to my job include autonomy: I sit at my desk, I do my work, and I am allowed to listen to as much music, audiobooks, or podcasts I can in an 8-hour shift. My boss is good and considers me a positive contributor to the team. Like anyone, there is room for improvement, but overall I put in satisfactory work.
I’m disappointed, though. My career is not growing, or I am not getting opportunities to shine, from my perspective. It is frustrating, but I am trusting in God’s plan and purpose that He has something great in mind for me. I just wish He would hurry up and make it clear to me. That would make my life much easier and much more comfortable. It would be comforting to know what was in my future.
My home life is good. My kids are growing, learning, and developing into people of their own, albeit sometimes frustrating. They have their own interests, friends, and activities. My five year old wants to have playdates just about every day either going to her friend’s house, or they come over to our house, which is tough during the week. Between school, karate classes, hockey games, and homework, there is hardly room for dinner and bath time.
My wife’s business is taking off. We spent a year being a little uncomfortable with our finances saving, anticipating it would take a long time for her start-up to start up. Fortunately, it didn’t take very long to get going. And, fortunately, my wife is a good planner and built things up slowly before leaving her corporate job. Now she has a growing client list, she’s had to hire employees, and, most importantly, she’s happy doing it.
So we’ve talked about it, and maybe it is my turn. Maybe it’s my turn to step out. But I’m in a rut. But I don’t know where I am supposed to go. But I don’t know what I am supposed to do. So I pray.
One day, I was incredibly frustrated. I wondered why things were not happening for me, why it seemed other people were getting ahead, why it appeared no one cared, why it felt like everyone else was getting away with not having to work hard. I wanted to run and scream, but that would make me sweaty, and, in turn, uncomfortable. I wanted to do one of those viral video job resignations, like where the radio DJ gets drunk on air and tells the audience what they really think of the station they work for. Or where the news reporter shows everyone “who is number one” on live TV.
Just as I was thinking that, a possible realization hit me. I wondered if God is making me uncomfortable to force me to step out and really be uncomfortable and put my faith in Him. When it was apparent that it was time for my wife to, it took some faith. It took some trust on our part that He would provide for us. Past experiences of God coming through for us, even when we hadn’t put our faith in Him, made it easy for us to do so this time. Well, maybe not easy, but at least easier. Or maybe it only seemed easy. Just last week my wife told me there were periods when she wasn’t too sure it would go well. Apparently, that’s when I reassured her and told her she was going to be able to do it, and everything was going to be fine. I didn’t remember that at all, but at least it resonated with her. It’s always interesting that the line you think is a throw away is the line that sticks with someone else, good and bad equally. That might just be a topic for another day.
I spend a lot of time wondering how I can be an example of how I live by faith and seek God’s direction. I want to be an example of faith to my kids. I want to be an example of works to them. I want my faith to have action, to have works. The book of James says faith without works is dead. In high school, a mentor of mine explained it as faith-works. They are not separate ideas. One leads to the other, and the other leads back to one into a kind of feedback loop into a kind of feedback loop
This may be the first step towards that journey. Like any journey, one step at a time.
Where are you in your journey?
Is it time for you to start a new one?
Tell me about it.
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