This post is written to link with Five Minute Friday: write for five minutes on a one-word prompt. The prompt today is “convenient.”
So much of life today seems to be geared towards convenience.
Instead of trailing round the supermarket for an hour, you can order online and have all your groceries delivered at a time that is convenient to you. Instead of waiting for a movie to be shown on television or going out and buying the DVD, you can stream it instantly without even moving from your sofa. Mobile phones and instant messaging mean making contact with people is much more convenient than it was in the past.
There’s nothing wrong with these things; in many ways things that make life easier and more convenient are good and there are many modern conveniences I wouldn’t want to do without.
I do worry though that we can become too accustomed to comfort and convenience and place too high a value on them, and I don’t think, as Christians, that these should be our top priorities.
When you look at the Bible, faithfulness to God rarely seems to lead to a life of convenience.
Abraham had to leave his home behind, travelling many miles to an unknown land God had promised.
Moses had to persevere with Pharaoh under difficult circumstances and then to spend forty years leading a grumbling, complaining group of people through the wilderness.
Esther had to set aside her comfort and convenience to approach the King to plead for her people.
Paul endured beatings, imprisonments, shipwrecks and countless other trials as he travelled, sharing the message about Christ.
And those are only a few examples among many.
Jesus certainly wasn’t thinking about comfort and convenience when he left the glory of heaven to be born as a man and then to suffer and die on the cross.
It challenges me that following in Jesus’ footsteps mean becoming a bit less concerned with convenience. After all, the call to follow him has never been the call to an easy life:
“Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.” (Mark 8:34-5 NLT)
It’s challenging, but it’s also reassuring. It was never meant to be easy. When I’m tempted to retreat to a place of comfort and ease, this reminds me of the point of it all and calls me to step up once again in the midst of the challenges.
It might not be convenient… but it’s worth it!