I’ll usually sacrifice a few hours of sleep for the comfort of my own bed, so when I recently scheduled a trip to Atlanta, I decided to fly in and out the same day. That meant a 3:45 a.m. wake-up call, full day of training and networking with women’s ministry leaders, and bedtime around 1:30 a.m. Because it was a dark-to-dark day, I knew I needed to rest on the plane.
I can usually doze before the plane taxis for take-off. I’d strategically booked a window seat to insure a headrest, so once I boarded the plane, I settled in and shut my eyes. A minute passed. Then another and another. And then, I heard it. A faint, familiar sound interrupted my peace…
The man next to me was snoring.
Not as loudly as my husband but enough to disturb my sleep – and cause me to smile. I thought to myself, “It’s just like being at home!”
Travel companies spend millions of dollars to create and convey the comfortable experiences of the familiar. I’m not sure snoring neighbors is an effective marketing plan, but it still made me smile.
If I couldn’t sleep beside my husband, at least I could experience a small piece of home even if it’s a home experience I typically strongly dislike.
How often do we experience something as negative until we can no longer experience it? Of course, I was only away on a short trip, but what about all the things that annoy us most about a family member – and then we miss when they move or pass away? Some of the annoying habits are often what we miss right away, because they’re habits, and we readily notice their absence.
The discomforts of home are sometimes the very things that comfort us as reminders of home. I’m not referring to the life-changing, traumatic things of home. I’m thinking in much more light-hearted terms. And to be honest, how we respond often depends on what terms we separated from someone. If the separation was negative, we’re more likely to continue being annoyed by habits.
But let’s think more from a positive perspective. Have fun with this for a minute.
What has annoyed you about your children, parents, spouse, friends, and so on that you missed once the person was away from you?
I’d create a list, but it might create an issue with some of the people I love!
Really, it’s not unlike how I sometimes respond spiritually. Faith isn’t convenient. It can interrupt the rhythm of the day. It requires more out of me than I’m willing to give at times. I’m prompted to yield when I want to do things my way. I have (what I think to be) good reasons. Faith isn’t comfortable – or is it?
What happens when I’m outside my norm? I look for, rest in, and cling to what’s firmly grounded and familiar to me, which is – I’m thankful to say – my faith. Within the discomfort of life, I find comfort.
Faith isn’t comfortable, yet it’s steeped in comfort.
The wide path of convenience might be easier, but it doesn’t make it best. The narrow road has its own set of challenges. The overgrowth scratches my legs. I can only see glimpses of what’s ahead. I have to walk by myself at times. And I have to pay attention to the subtle clues of terrain obstacles and directional challenges.
But it’s the only path I want to be on. It’s the path I want to be most familiar. There is comfort in the discomfort.
I didn’t get much sleep on my early morning flight.
It’s okay. I had a comforting flight.
The gate is small and the road is narrow that leads to true life. Matthew 7:14