The Fortress of the Comfortable
"being greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead." Acts 4:2
We fear the very thing that will free us. We prefer the known, the comfortable, the predictable. It’s familiar and unchallenging, even though it keeps us restricted and wounded, we settle for what we know over what could be. We often lack the imagination to see and the courage to risk a new way of living. Still, beneath the surface, there's a faint hope.
We have a longing to live on the delicious edge. Excited by the idea of a limitless reality. The potential is within our reach, but always beyond our grasp. Standing between us and our dreams is a line of fear. An anxiety so raw, so persistent, we are forced to hide ourselves in shame. We are beaten back by what we know – the safe, the secure. The fortress of comfortable living.
Playing it safe results in a failure to live authentically. We find ourselves stuck, unable to go back to our safe places, and too scared to go forward. We are afraid to live with abandonment, but the antidote to fear, is bravery. We have to face the fear, to lean into what scares us, to live on the sharp edge, to marinate in that which terrifies us. Fear does its best to keep us in the ordinary.
Be brave? Inspiration is good, but it’s not enough. We look for solutions. We look to self-help books, but they don't deliver, precisely because it's “self.” That's the problem. We turn to medical experts and we're offered pills to cope. We turn to concealing, where we try to make friends with our fear. In despair, the heart sinks, then we hit rock bottom to find something new.
There are always a few who emerge from the low places of defeat. Those who respond to the radical message of freedom. Peter and John were changed by a simple truth. Jesus is the Messiah; Jesus is at the heart and center of their future. Life was meant to be lived, not in old fears of death and law, but in new terms of life and love of Christ.
Are you fearing what will free you? Why?