"The world offers you comfort,
but you were not made for comfort.
You were made for greatness."
- Pope Benedict XVI
It is so natural to crave comfort, and to fear stepping out of its safety.
Why apply to that job?
Why go introduce myself to that person?
Why dare to question the relationship I'm in?
Why wake up early to attend mass?
Why take a cold shower?
Why start that business?
Why start a club?
Why share my opinion?
Why ask that person out?
It's interesting to think about the different excuses we make as an answer to those types of questions.
I might not get the job.
It could be awkward.
I could push off the inevitable.
I could be cold.
It could fail.
I could lose my social status.
I could get looked at as odd.
I could get rejected.
Fear of the unknown. That's too often the motivation behind many of our decisions. When we allow phrases like these to determine our choices, we give undue power to our fears and place our soul in a dull slumber.
This picture is from June 2022, in Washington, D.C. I remember taking it at 5:30 am, while headed to the Ronald Reagan Airport. It's a symbolic picture to me because it reminds me of a time when I chose to conquer my fears and step out of my comfort zone. This was following the National Leaders Collective.
Comfort is poison to the soul.
There's another quote this brings to mind, from a bit of a different character than Pope Benedict XVI. It was said by one of my favorite country music artists, Kip Moore.
"Make yourself uncomfortable because comfort causes the spirit to die. Your heart is always on fire for passion. The minute you quit feeding it what it needs to pump is the minute you sleepwalk to your own grave."
Sleepwalking to our own graves can look like endlessly (comfortably) scrolling on social media. Have you ever wondered why you feel so terrible after doing that? Because we have been only given a short amount of time to use our gifts... and spending it on TikTok or Instagram reels wastes that precious time. This gives glory to the devil. It is easy for him to destroy a comfortable soul, because that soul is not fighting.
This is Kristan Hawkins, President and Founder of Students For Life. She's one of the many individuals who inspired this article.
Comfort is poison to success.
Without denying our instinct for comfort, we cannot become saints. We cannot become who God made us to be. Saying the Rosary, going to mass, offering up suffering, making time for mental prayer: these are not easy tasks, they are not possible to do well without rising above the constraints of comfort. Today, challenge yourself to do something specifically that makes you uncomfortable; something that will make you a stronger daughter or son of Christ.
Denying comfort looks different for every individual. But idolizing comfort has the same dulling effect on every soul.
Remember, you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.
If you're looking for a structured way to begin challenging yourself, click the links below!