The Comfort of Discomfort

How is it that we have gotten so comfortable being comfortable? We will push and fight and struggle to get to a point of being comfortable. But then, once we get there, the fire is gone, and so we settle happily into the ease of life. If anyone threatens this space, we will angrily defend it… But at what cost?

Is comfort the point of life?

I once heard a story in a sermon that seems apropos. The speaker was traveling with her husband, and they stayed in someone’s house in preparation for a workshop in the morning. Their host was kind and made sure that they were properly settled, letting them know about the agenda for the following day. She and her husband went to bed, and not long after were awakened by a train that was practically right outside their window. Naturally, they were startled, and it took them some time to get back to sleep. Yet, this happened two more times that night. 

When they were greeted by their host in the morning, they asked why she hadn’t mentioned the train. She said, “I guess I’ve just gotten used to it. It doesn’t wake me anymore.”

How much of life doesn’t wake us anymore? Do we see violence on tv and feel numb because of the violence in our entertainment? Do we hear about people being killed and shrug it off as part of life?

As I was taking my morning commute, looking at the beauty of the DC skyline that contrasts the realities that some of my kids deal with on a daily basis, I wonder about my place in things. While I consider myself ‘conscious,’ I had to be honest with the fact that I am not always ‘active.’ Wearing African print clothing and signing some online petitions are not the markers of a true activist.

Now, activism looks different for everyone, but I know that more is required. I may be comfortable with my salaried job and generally stable life, but what about those who are not? Am I really living at my potential and doing the most for myself, my family, and the world around me?

The answer is NO.

So, as Black History Month ends, and I am surrounded by the great cloud of witnesses and ancestors, I take stock of the resources that I have, the fight ahead, and set out to not just hear the train but become the train. It may be uncomfortable, unstable, and even scary, but there is a satisfaction in pressing and living out of that passion, knowing that greater things are coming out of your hands.

Our dreams, justice for all people, and a better world for the coming generations do not come from us fighting to be comfortable in a 9 to 5, church services that never actually provide service, or living the safe little lives of mediocrity. The world needs more, and your soul deserves more. Now go get it! #NavigateARTfully


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