I was a Pink Floyd fan back in the day (yes, the day was when I was 1 year old so I’m still a young whipper-snapper) and one of my favorite songs was Comfortably Numb. As I’ve grown up and dealt with many inner demons, I appreciated the idea of being comfortable and being numb to what was going on around and inside of me.
The other day, I heard a song on Air One (a great Christian radio station in the Metroplex) and heard a song I have to go find. What caught my attention was the phrase “comfortably miserable.” Yes! That’s it! Most of us never live comfortably numb because the pain is always there. Sure, we can drink it away for a bit or drug it away for a bit and then it’s back. The truth is, sometimes I just try to live comfortably in my misery.
I’m divorced and have wondered if I’ll ever be able to be in another relationship. The truth is, I like women a lot. They have many great traits and they are much better to look at than the vast majority of my male friends. I see friends that have good to great relationships with their spouse or girlfriend and think I’d like that too. And then it strikes, the fear of relationship, the fear of loss and I think I’d rather be comfortable in the misery of not loving someone. Or, I know I have a passion for something that seems risky so I stay in a job that I can do but that I don’t like because, well, it is miserable but comfortable. Or, there is a friend I need to talk to about his relationship with God but sometimes he gets angry and walks away when anyone talks about God. I know I should say something because I love him but I fear doing so might end the relationship so I pray that he will change his mind by my (in)actions. I’m miserable knowing I should speak up but I’m comfortable holding my tongue.
Comfortably miserable. I would guess there are many Christians that can wear that label. Most of my best friends have at one point or another just as I have, and, still do at times.
Lord, I don’t want to be comfortably miserable. The fear is that following you will simply make me uncomfortable. I say that knowing the times I have walked out of my comfort zone you have done amazing things. Yet, I want to shrink back to comfort. Oh Lord, fill me with courage to neither be comfortable or miserable but to be bold and free in you.
Grace and peace.