Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | February 16, 2012

On Uncomfortableness

My youngest daughter Gina currently lives in Malaysia where she teaches English to students from throughout Southeast and East Asia. She took a year off from college to go abroad in order to make connections for the kingdom. As a parent, I have never been more thankful for Skype. Gina and I Skype every morning and she visits with Cheryl via Skype in the evenings. As Gina and I were chatting yesterday morning, she said something that caught my attention and led to deeper discussion. She told me that she is trying to live each day in a state of uncomfortableness. Uncomfortableness can be defined as the willingness to embrace challenges and situations that will stretch us and cause us to grow in new ways but, more importantly, that will also help us to make greater contributions to kingdom causes. It is essentially the state of doing whatever it takes in order to advance a cause bigger than oneself.

Uncomfortableness flies in the face of what most people value. We are naturally oriented toward seeking comfort and security and tend to feather our nests accordingly. It is probably safe to say that most of what we earn and spend is invested in hedging against anything uncomfortable, unsure, unpleasant, and unsafe. However, these are things that matter little in regard to the kingdom of God. I have actually met people over the years who have made decisions about whether or not to participate in a short-term initiative based on the kind of toilets they will have to use on the field. That’s the kind of thing that puts the accent on comfort rather than on the commission to go into all the world with the good news. That’s also the kind of nonsense that A.W. Tozer may have had in mind when he wrote that the kingdom of God never advances at our convenience but rather at our inconvenience.

Gina explained that she was not just talking about physical kinds of discomforts, but also about that uncomfortable feeling that many Christ-followers get when faced with an opportunity to share their faith. She said that part of this personal challenge to embrace uncomfortableness included becoming more intentional about seizing opportunities to verbalize her faith. This is part of what it means to be fully engaged in the game, she said, rather than just cheering from the sidelines. Life is much more comfortable in the stands but much riskier on the field. However, God needs us on the field and in the game because that is where contests are won or lost. And that means that we must be willing to embrace uncomfortableness. We cannot afford to allow either the fear of what’s out there or the warmth of past victories to lull us into the kind of comfort that keeps us off the field. Instead we must see uncomfortableness as a friend that can guide us into arenas where we can experience new growth and deeper maturity. As for me, I too am going to become more intentional about living in a state of uncomfortableness and I intend to stay engaged in the game. After all, life is much more exciting on the field than in the stands.


Responses

  1. Gina is a breath of fresh air and no doubt the result of your leadership in the home. We often hear about the younger generation not caring for anything other than themselves but she is certainly outside of that. I am proud of her. It is not an easy thing for anyone to be outside of their comfort zone and I am sure it is especially more difficult for a young woman.
    Gil

    • Thanks for your kind words, Gil. It’s really cool to see God at work in Gina’s life.

  2. Omar,

    This quote, “It is probably safe to say that most of what we earn and spend is invested in hedging against anything uncomfortable, unsure, unpleasant, and unsafe. However, these are things that matter little in regard to the kingdom of God.” gave me some uncomfortableness. Thanks for that. I have printed that part of this blog out and put it on my desk. Great words and a great challenge. Stay strong, Scott

  3. Good Stuff Pastor. Thanks for the reminder. I cannot wait to meet “your Gina” 🙂
    Kim

    • Thanks, Kim. I know that Gina will enjoy meeting you too.

  4. A young lady wise beyond her years. She is such a blessing! I know she is a treasured friend to Adrianne. What a blessing she must be to all those she encounters in Asia.
    I know you and Cheryl must be beaming with pride and joy knowing how she is growing in her faith and has such a heart for God.

    • Thanks for your kind words, Valerie. Gina and Adrianne are good friends. So grateful for that. We are indeed excited to see God at work in Gina’s life.


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