“If you’re gonna be committed to the kingdom, you’ve got to kill your addiction to convenience.”
Ouch. Conviction hit me forcefully and instantly as Neichelle Guidry’s challenging reality check processed in my heart. Her words from the 2015 Justice Conference transformed Chicago’s auditorium theatre into an altar call. Immediately my mind started pondering, “How do I kill my addiction to convenience?”
Before figuring out the “how” of eliminating a life driven by convenience I had to think about what my addiction to convenience looked like.
Here is what I discovered…
Convenience for me is hitting the snooze button and sleeping an extra hour rather than using that hour to be alone with God. Convenience is saying “Hello” but not asking “how are you” because I don’t have time to listen to how you actually are. Convenience is scrolling through Facebook instead of reading a book. Convenience is telling jokes with my friends and never sharing deeper thoughts and struggles. Convenience is being silent instead of offering an opposing perspective. Convenience referred to anything that required little to no effort of me.
Less and less, effort is being asked of us. Take dating apps like Tinder for example. Tinder claims it is “how people meet…like real life, but better.” With apps like Tinder people don’t even have to meet another person to determine whether or not they want to get to know them. By simply swiping your finger to the left you can prevent unwanted interactions from happening and by swiping right, affirm attraction and start interaction. I’m certain plenty of folks have found affection from others through the use of Tinder. However, my point is that the website can claim to be better than real life because it requires much less of us than real life does, and can’t the requirements of life get overwhelming at times? Just the pursuit of a romantic relationship in person can be awkward, uncertain, time consuming, and thought consuming. Tinder makes things more convenient.
So in a world filled with apps, programs, and things that are meant to offer convenience, why must I do away with living out of convenience? Well, I am learning that my efforts aren’t simply for my own gains.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord and not for men”- Colossians 3:23
Working with all of my heart, and working for the Lord sounds like hard work. It has a certain weight to it in my mind, higher expectations. I also know that God has given me passions and a calling that I cannot compromise for convenience. So the only solution I have found that has helped me kill my addiction to convenience is by doing the opposite, chasing inconvenience.
By chasing inconvenience, I pursue and embrace the reality of difficulty. The Christian life may not be easy, nor was it meant to be. Jesus wasn’t shy about the inconveniences that come with following him. In fact in Matthew 16:24-26 He said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Denying ourselves isn’t comfortable. Chasing inconvenience is a life of cost and interruption. Speaking out against racial inequality costs me people’s approval. Being liked by everyone is way more convenient than being perceived as an angry, black woman.
What’s easiest is not always what’s best. In the pursuing our passions there will be difficulty and sometimes we must make up our minds to press into that difficulty instead of immediately looking for an alternative. Every growth comes with growing pains. Inconvenience is not the ultimate goal of our chase. However, I chase inconvenience because I don’t want to run from the inconveniences that come with my calling. This is why I believe it is important to understand what we’re ultimately chasing and why. What are we pursuing that is worth all of the difficulties and effort? Also, we must have a secure source of strength. The grace and promises offered through Jesus are what help me to face difficulties head on. Knowing that God’s power is made perfect in my weakness frees me from fear of challenges and allows me to trust in Him with every outcome.
We can’t cut corners to the kingdom of God. We can’t cut corners in the expression of our passions. However, we can chase inconvenience and rest assured that He is faithful to rest upon us in every hardship and difficulty.
Do we want comfort more than we want the manifestation of our callings? That is a question worth asking ourselves.