Faith, hope and love
As much as I enjoy travelling, seeing new places and visiting friends, I just wish I could take my own bed with me.
I can’t believe how much difference it makes sleeping in my own bed.
No matter how nice the hotel is, the beds in hotels are always too soft or too firm, the pillows are always too thick and I wake up having slept poorly.
It’s not necessarily the softness of the sheet or weight of the doona, the warmth I feel or the noise in the next room or from the street. It’s just that it is different. It’s not my bed. I’m sure that my bed is nothing special, but it is mine.
Maybe I’ve shaped it to my body or maybe I’m just used to it. This melancholy is not limited to my bed. I seem to be constantly wrestling between my desire for the familiar and the comfortable and my desire for the new and interesting.
The experts say we need to learn to be uncomfortable.
Change is hard and there are times when it’s extremely uncomfortable. Moving to a new place is uncomfortable. Changing jobs is uncomfortable. Healing the hurts from childhood trauma is uncomfortable.
Attempting something new that you know nothing about is uncomfortable.
We don’t like feeling uncomfortable, but it’s the space that facilitates our growing.
Discomfort is often a by-product of pushing ourselves.
That’s true in sport, education, in business and in our personal life.
When you’re pushing your limits, you’re leaving what you know, what’s familiar and comfortable, what works.
It means never knowing if what you’re doing is the right thing.
It makes us unsure about what we are doing . . . It makes us feel like an imposter.
It means risking our reputation, our selfimage, our identity for something we’re not sure will even work!
All that said, if we can keep going, moving little by little forward into the unknown, we will become a better person.
One of the most challenging things about personal growth in our mature years is that we often think that we’ve got things pretty well sorted and we don’t want to put what we have achieved at risk for the quest of ongoing personal and spiritual growth.
Jumping back to me, my bed and my desire for the comfortable and familiar, I don’t understand why Jesus wasn’t a total grouch.
While on the road, travelling with his disciples, he would always have been sleeping rough or in a borrowed bed. How did he ever get a good night’s rest? He once said to a would-be follower that he should think seriously before coming with him as ‘‘Foxes have holes, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head’’.
In the gospel stories, Jesus praises faith more often than love.
Spiritual guru Richard Rohr says that is because faith is the patience with mystery that allows us to move forward even though we seem to be walking in darkness.
He says: ‘‘We only need enough light to be able to trust the darkness. Trials and darkness teach us how to trust in a very practical way that a good God is guiding us.’’
If we are comfortable with being uncomfortable, we don’t need to be totally sure before we take the next step.
We can trust that even our mistakes will be of use to us, if we allow them to be.
Love is the goal. Faith is the slow process of getting there.
Hope is the willingness to move forward, even with discomfort.
And these are indeed, ‘‘the three things that last’’ ( 1 Corinthians 13:13).
People who have these gifts — faith, hope, and love — are indestructible.
This is the gospel, and it’s good news.