A Little Discomfort Rarely Hurts You…

In fact, sometimes it is for the better.

I woke up early this morning with a lot on my mind.  For some reason, my brain is wired to think most efficiently early in the mornings, even when my body is telling it…”not now”.  Needless to say, my mind wins that battle and so I get up.  For there’s no point in fighting a losing battle.

So what occupied my thoughts this morning, you might ask…

Ironically enough, the idea of habits was the main source of this morning’s sleep disruption.  Earlier yesterday, I had a great Skype conversation with my good friend Shanda, and we were talking about habits, people’s habits, the way to form good habits, etc.  And as my mind decided to process all of this at 3:30am, I couldn’t help but think about the process of changing bad habits or creating new habits.

Why does it seem so difficult?  Why do we fight it?  The truth is there is going to be discomfort.  But that shouldn’t be the reason we stop, it should actually encourage us, reminding us that something is changing and we are moving forward.  I actually wonder how many times I have focused on the discomfort of change, rather than just moving past it.  You see, I believe there is something that I will refer to as a “phantom” stage and that is where a lot of us get caught.

Imagine those times you have carried a heavy item.  Maybe it is that time you lifted a large box and moved it into your new house.  Maybe it is that time you scurried up the stairs with all your grocery bags in order to get them all up to your apartment in one trip.  When you finally reach your destination, you put the heavy load you carried down and look at your hands.  There they are, stuck in the same form/shape that was needed to carry the heavy load even though the weight has been released.  As you straighten them out, there is that instant discomfort.  But you don’t let that stop you.  You continue to stretch out your fingers until they have broken from that fixed position, and then give that refreshing sigh of relief.

“Miss Elizabeth, let us take a turn about the room.
It’s refreshing, is it not after sitting so long in one attitude?”
   ~Pride and Prejudice 

The truth is there are habits we need to break, or good habits we need to create and the discomfort of the process doesn’t have to be long and drawn out.  The truth is, sometimes all that is needed is to move through that discomfort, be stretched a bit, and embrace the change.

Did I make that too simple?  Well, all I have to say is…here I am breaking the habit of making things way too complicated…

Back to the Basics.

He didn’t use big words.  He didn’t worry about whether or not he could do it.  He just did it.

Ben Hearn, a three year old with dusty blond hair and an adorable smile came up behind me as I was sitting on the front step.  I was talking with some women enjoying the cooler evening.  He politely said, “cuse me, me come through”.  In his hands was a stool, which is about as big as he is.  I let him through and he approached my friend Evin who was sitting on the ground.  He said to her, “for you”, and then went back inside.

It was such a great moment for us women to see such a gentleman act at the age of three.  

You see, he didn’t come with his own theological debates.  He didn’t stand there declaring big promises about what he will do, or even stand there to get any sort of praise.  He let his action do the talking.  He just did what he saw needed to be done!

His character was revealed in this simple, yet very appreciated act of service and kindness.  He led by example.  

I’ll be the first to admit, that it is easy to get wrapped up in “spiritual highs”, to make declarations of faith and truth only to forget it within an hour, to create all these big dreams.  But the truth of it is, as great as that is, at the end of they day, it is your character that is revealed.

Are there actions behind your words, behind your faith?  Are you exemplifying honesty, integrity, servanthood, dependability, respect?

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
~1 John 3:18