We’re fast coming upon the Christmas season when we hear the same seasonal cliche’s like “Joy to the World, Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men.” We’ll sing songs that will contain phrases like “comfort and joy.”
When I think of that term, comfort and joy, I think about the five joys of discomfort.
- The joy of the kind of discomfort that gets me to move. That’s what all of life is, isn’t it? Movement. The only things in life that don’t move are those things that are dead. Discomfort (low income, broken relationships, dead-end jobs) can be seen as negatives, or turned into positives when that discomfort gets me to move.
- The joy of the kind of discomfort that wakes me up. Way too many people I see have a blank look on their face. We live in the greatest country in the world, enjoy the highest standard of living than ever before, electronic gadgets are coming out the wazoo, and yet the number one emotion painted on the faces of the people I see is disappointment and boredom. Sometimes discomfort wakes us out of our dogmatic slumbers and makes us face new realities so we ourselves can be transformed.
- The joy of the kind of discomfort that makes me change. Someone has said that the only predictable reality of life is change. That may be true, but whether we change for the better or worse is always up to us. Sometimes the discomfort of staying in the same place is so great that we are willing to change. We change usually under three conditions: when we know enough to change, when we want enough to change, and when we have no other choice.
- The joy of the kind of discomfort that makes me appreciate what I have. Why is it that we fail to appreciate things until we no longer have them? That happened to me when I lost my job and what I thought was my ability to do what I was created to do. When it was handed back by an army of renegades and righteous believers, I’ve never been the same. Every day is a joy. Every Sunday morning is like Christmas for me. Yea God for the discomfort of that kind of disruption.
- The joy of the kind of discomfort that reminds me who my true source is. Whether you are a person of faith or not, trust me, the day will come when, if God loves you any at all, He will allow something to happen in your life that will shake your confidence in your company, your corporation, and even your country. This event will shake you to the core and remind you just how helpless and vulnerable you really are. Why does God do this? He does this because he loves us. We too easily forget that the resources that God brings into our lives can become idols. And our true source – our Master Donor, the lover of our souls – begins to take a back seat.
These are my five joys of discomfort. What are yours?