Comfortable or Conformable

A letter or two can make a great deal of difference.

I was reading some devotional material and came to what my eyes registered as a common, familiar word. But context caused me to stop and look again.

Comfortable or conformable?

What difference does it make?

In spiritual things (and many others), the different is vast.

One is like a slow-acting poison that almost ensures our lack of growth. It is the most dangerous of luxuries and yet the default to which we cling. This limiting force entices us to thicken into spiritual couch potatoes.

The other reflects a softened lump of clay flung onto the potter’s wheel. It is that readiness to be remade, reshaped, rebuilt. It is a softness of heart, an eagerness of spirit, a submission of will that expects the result to be worth the process. This stretching  warm-up prepares us to become what we were made to be.

One is reflexive and soothing and a necessary part of our lives.

The other is often awkward and sometimes painful and also a necessary part of our spiritual lives.

Centuries ago a prophet by the name of Jeremiah was directed to walk down to the potter’s house and learn. While he watched the potter shape the lump of clay over and over until he was satisfied that it would fulfill its purpose, God helped Jeremiah see that he and you and I are just like that lump of clay. (Jeremiah 18.1-6)

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God’s intention for every follower of Jesus is to be “renewed after the image of its Creator.”(Colossians 3.10) That means that He intends to shape us more and more and more to be like Jesus.

So… does your life look more like you or like Jesus?

Right. Me too.

So there’s more work to be done in this transformation. And the reality that’s hard to accept is that very little growing happens when we are COMFORTABLE. It’s the same as the way that I can’t get in shape without doing uncomfortable things and things can’t be surgically repaired without being uncomfortable.

Let’s be frank about it. The only time our healthcare priority is making a patient comfortable is when there’s no more hope of healing treatment. It’s called palliative care.

Is it possible that many of us are spiritually resigned to just sit and remain comfortable? Are we ready for spiritual hospice?

There is just so much more to experience of God’s wonder and grace. And, to really get the most out of a lifelong journey with Him, we should strive tobe CONFORMABLE to His plan, yielded to His hands, like a moistened lump of clay upon the potter’s wheel.

A letter or two can make a great deal of difference.

A Big… Rock

I have seen pictures many times of this big rock just barely off of the seashore. But I never really knew where it was or anything about it. It is roughly shaped like an old-fashioned barnyard haystack—the kind in which finding a needle would be understandably improbable if not utterly impossible.

A few years ago my wife’s parents visited this place and came back raving about how beautiful it was. They brought us a set of coasters with this same rock on each one.

“It’s Haystack Rock,” they cheerfully informed us.

I have acquaintances that live in that part of the world and I had seen them post pictures and such as well as moments in movies or tv shows over the years. But gosh… that’s a big… rock.

I mean, whoa! Continue reading A Big… Rock

Blameless Wonder

I have an old friend that God has used to teach me a lot. Some of you that may happen to read this will know this man. In my college days, this friend lived out for me and so many others what it meant to be a servant in the midst of a very self-absorbed culture.

The thing about this friend is that he had such a kind and gentle spirit that he was constantly apologizing for anything that wasn’t as someone wanted it to be… whether or not he had anything to do with that circumstance. The most common words out of his mouth were, “I’m sorry.”

When we would say, “Stop saying I’m sorry,” he would reply, “Ok, I’m sorry.” Continue reading Blameless Wonder