My father and I had set out one afternoon to engage in one of our most sacred father-daughter rituals: eating at In-N-Out burgers. As usual, it was packed with a line going out the door. I waited in line while my dad got our seats. After what seemed like forty years, I was able to order our food. Soon, I heard our order called and I got up to bring back our food. As I sat down next to my dad, tray in hand, I knew that we had made it to our promised land – a glorious land flowing with milkshakes and French fries! Before I could enjoy my food, I saw a blind man asking for directions. I tried to give him directions, but quickly realized how dependent my directions were on the person being able to see where they were going. So, I decided to walk him to his destination. By the time I got back, my dad had finished his food, my burger was cold and I had to go back home to get ready for work. Even though it was inconvenient, it sure was rewarding to help that man get on the bus.
Paul received a prophecy that he would be “inconveniently” tied up if he traveled to Jerusalem. But Paul responds by saying not only is he willing to be bound, but he’d die for Jesus. Now in our first world nation where we have freedom of religion, many of us will never be called to give their life for their faith in this country. But Paul’s statement says at the very least, he is willing to be inconvenienced or uncomfortable for his faith. For many of us, including myself, practicing my faith is easy when it is convenient and comfortable. Almost everything in our world is designed to be convenient or comfortable. Why should our faith be any different? Inconvenience is a strong deterrent for us. Just think of all the places you won’t go unless you absolutely have to because the wait/line is too long or the parking is too far away. But if there is anything we should do regardless of the circumstances, regardless of whether it is convenient or comfortable, it’s living out our faith.
Today, let’s try to persevere past inconvenience and discomfort as we live out our faith. I am sure this will look different for everyone. For some, it might be getting up extra early for some quality time with the Lord. For others, it might be volunteering for that church event that’s coming up even though it’s on a weekend. For others, it may be different still. Perhaps, there has been someone you’ve been apprehensive about inviting to church or sharing your faith with and pushing past that uncomfortable feeling and finally talking to them.
What are some things that you have been meaning to do in the living out of your faith that you have not done because it has not been comfortable or convenient to do so? How do you think the Lord might be calling you out of comfort and into something inconvenient?