Today is my 58th birthday and like most days, I woke up with a word/random thought on my mind. The word today was "comfortable".
I love being comfortable. I wear comfy clothes, eat comfort foods, have friends I'm really comfortable around...I'm pretty sure I would never make it on a make-over show because they would never be able to tear my comfortable shoes from me! In fact, if you look up 'comfortable' in the dictionary, you might find my picture. One benefit of getting older is that I'm finally "comfortable" in my own skin, despite its wrinkly appearance. Yep, comfortable is a pretty positive word.
But lately I've started seeing the word in a not so positive light. You see, as I get older, I find that once I get "comfortable," I don't want to move. I just don't want to put forth the effort. I just got "comfortable." In fact lately, I find that when I sit in my favorite chair after a long day at work and get comfortable I fall asleep! While it's still light outside!
It's not that I can't move - I just don't want to!
It's as if I'm becoming like one of those characters on Pirates of the Caribbean who slowly melds into the ship and becomes a part of the background...powerless to move. It takes REAL effort to pull away and stand. I don't think I've ever thought of getting older that way before...but those who cease to make the effort to move seem to simply sink into their chairs and fade into the background till they are unable to do anything else.
They simply get OLD! (That's such an ugly word.)
That's the thing about getting comfortable. It's so...comfortable! You don't want to do anything that takes you out of that "comfort zone"! And as I get older, I find that it seems to be harder and harder to get moving again once I get "comfortable."
I want to find ways to push myself to break out of the comfort zone. The working mission trip to Guatemala was one attempt to get out of my comfort zone and do something that didn't necessarily come naturally. I have to say, that was one of the best choices I've made in a while. I got out of my comfort zone and discovered I kind of LIKE being uncomfortable! What started as a challenge actually turned into something that fanned the flames inside me to DO something! My muscles hurt and I was tired and I felt ALIVE!
It is easy as we get older to feel like our time has passed. We look forward to retirement when we can finally just SIT...but maybe we've been looking at things all wrong. Maybe instead of retirement, it's supposed to be a time of re-fire-ment. Instead of striving to be comfortable, maybe we should be stretching ourselves to try new things, learn new things, take a chance and believe God for dreams we thought were long gone.
Yes, comfortable can be a good thing but sometimes we need to push ourselves out of our comfort zone. Maybe it's time to look at birthdays as another reminder that we're not finished yet. This is not the time to get "comfortable" in this world...after all, it's not our home.