I always find it very amusing when the most simple observation in life brings out a profound gospel truth. This happened to me recently when I was on a crowded bus travelling from Florence to Pisa. I know life could have been worse, but God still speaks and we need to be listening at all times.
My friend who was sitting in front of me was very tied and wanted to recline her seat backwards, infringing on my already cramped leg space. She wanted more comfort at the expense of my comfort. My friend now has a choice. Does she choose her comfort over my discomfort? Or does she travel in discomfort so I can travel a little more comfortable?
All this tension between comfort and discomfort brought me to the gospel of Jesus. The simple truth is that when we sacrifice a little comfort in our own lives so someone else has a bit more comfort, we are living out the Will of the Father.
I have discovered that discomfort means that we are on the right course in following Jesus
Everything about the gospel teaches us that we sacrifice ourselves and our life for the life of others. In Matthew 20 Jesus tells us that if we want to be great we must become servants, for even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve. Jesus also tells us in Matthew 16:24 if we want to become his disciples we must deny ourselves and take up our cross daily.
These are not fluffy comfortable commands that Jesus is talking about. But a lifetime of working towards letting go of our old selves to be more like Jesus. Picking up our cross is heavy, inconvenient, hard work and very uncomfortable. However we know that this discomfort helps others to see the beauty of Jesus.
Jesus never said that following him would be easy and a walk in the park. He did say that when you discover discomfort to serve others then the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.
Remember if you are feeling a little discomfort in your life to give a little comfort back to others, you are probably closer to the Will of the Father, than when you are feeling comfortable. So rejoice and praise God for the discomfort you may be feeling as you continue to deny yourself to serve the lost in our world.
Prayer: Father help me never to forget my chair of discomfort. When I am feeling too comfortable give me the strength to understand this is not the place you want me to be. Give me the courage to serve more, sacrifice more, give more and deny myself more. Thankyou that the discomfort of carrying your cross gives hope back to another life.