Escaping Comfort’s Grasp

Faintly through dim shadows came the alarm’s first sound and pulled me from sleep. I stirred and turned, blinking at its bright face. The digital numbers stared back at me; there was no denying it was time to get up.

My bed begged to differ, however. “No, no, no,” it whispered. “ Ssssleep…. Just a few more minutes of blessed darkness.” I turned from the alarm and settled back into my bed’s soft comfort.

—and then my eyes sprang open.

It’s all about comfort.

The western world lives for comfort. A warm bed, a hot shower, a rich cup of coffee. The moments are different for everyone, and for some perhaps few and far, but we spend a lot of time and money trying to get comfortable. We want to feel at peace, safe, secure, and we want nothing more than to stay there.

And that turns out to be the problem: we don’t want to leave comfort. It feels so good that it surely should never end, so we watch the same movie a hundred times, or live with our parents till we turn 30. We cling to comforts and stay in them as long as possible.

But I don’t think it was meant to be like that.

There are moments of joy, and then there are moments between joy. That is the rhythm of life. Like it says in Ecclesiastes, there is a time for everything. There is a time for comfort, and then there is a time for work. Such is the way of things.

Thinking about comfort in this way suddenly removes the pressure to hold onto it. Sure, the bed feels wonderful; sure, I would love nothing better to take a 30-minute hot shower. But moments of comfort aren’t meant to be stayed in forever. They are meant to fuel me for the work ahead.

It will probably take a while for me to actually approach comfort like this. My habit now is to find it and cling to it as long as possible. But hopefully, if I stay mindful of this, I will be able to enjoy moments of comfort when they come and then step out when it’s time.