“…After all, golf is about learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.”
I wasn’t having a quiet time, praying, reading my Bible, or even expecting to hear from God in that moment, but He spoke to my heart as loudly and clearly as if I had been. His mouthpiece was a PGA announcer commenting on the annual Drive, Chip, and Putt contest for children held every year just before the Masters.
A young lady had just won. Instead of remarking on the high score that had just earned her first place, he complimented her ability to endure the entire Drive, Chip, and Putt experience, which includes performing well after sleeping in a strange hotel, attending events with strangers of all ages, being interviewed without the help of parents or coaches, and focusing on the contest under the scrutiny of a vast television audience.
Hard stuff for anyone, especially a child! Yet dozens of children had shown up to compete, accepting and facing the challenges that came with the opportunity to reap reward.
I was challenged.
There was a time when I served God with abandon, using the spiritual gifts, talents, abilities, and experiences God has allowed me with little thought to the challenges that came with doing so, mainly because I hadn’t faced many challenges yet and the things God had asked me to do to that point hadn’t required me to step very far outside my comfort zone.
When God did call me outside my comfort zone, the inevitable happened. People proved themselves human, and I proved myself just as human. Allowing my gaze to drop from God to self, I lost some of my nerve.
Many of my yes’s became maybe’s, and many of those maybe’s became no’s.
I didn’t say many of the things I should have said.
I didn’t do many of the things I should have done.
I didn’t go to many of the places I should have gone.
I didn’t reach out to many of the people I should have reached out to.
Instead, I made excuses, telling myself I was waiting for that elusive and easy-to-counterfeit “peace” we Christians like to talk about before moving forward when I was really just culling out comfort for myself.
Trouble is, we’re not called to comfort. We’re called to follow Jesus in obedience wherever that obedience leads, and following doesn’t always feel good (Matt. 8:20)—sometimes, it feels awful.
It does, however, deepen our relationship with the Father (John 14:23), a reward worth anything it may cost us, which is why those of us who have put our faith in the Gospel of Jesus and so belong to God must all check ourselves at every turn to make sure we haven’t grown lazy, complacent, or fearful, traits that fail to glorify Him, but are still running just as hard after our Savior as we ever did by the God-given faith that saved us.
The Christian life isn’t comfortable; we have to get comfortable with that.