Most people are obsessed with comfort. And let’s face it, our unprecedented age of technology and prosperity has enabled us to get it. The problem with comfort is the idleness and inactivity it produces. We also have abundant scientific evidence detailing the toll idleness takes on the body and mind. You really don’t need the science, you just need the experience of a few days doing nothing to realize the danger of inactivity. So the very comfort we seek in our activity can become the self-made prison that restricts our longevity because try as we might, we weren’t made to stay still and relax.
I have recently returned from Peru, a country and continent I had never been to before. The flights were long, in the middle of the night, the air was ridiculously thin (see my sermon from Machu Picchu, I’m not exhausted from the small flight of stairs to get to that point, I’m struggling with the altitude), and this was the first trip of my life where I spent every night in a different location, different bed (or no bed) and even had my first run-in with a hostel. Yep. A HOSTEL.
I remember hearing about what it would take to reach that moment at the pinnacle of Machu Picchu. Ten hours of flight time (divided by three flights), a 3-hour car ride, a 2-hour train ride, a 1-hour bus ride and you’re there. Simple right? Nope. But the moment you crest the Mountain top and see the view from the top of that grand structure, your breath – already shallow – is gone. I have never seen anything like it. And if you were at Church this past Sunday, the video you see does not do it justice. The experience is worth the exhaustion.
That, my friends, is the truth about most of life’s greatest moments. The exhaustion and pain of childbirth, Jesus says is worth the joy that child brings. The exhaustion and early mornings of work are worth the finished product of pay and the satisfaction of a job well done. The exhaustion of reconciliation is worth making or keeping friends. Anything worth experiencing demands moving.
In my book, I talk about how we were made to move. God programmed movement into the fabric of the universe’s design. Did you know that according to NASA the universe is still expanding every moment and that expansion is picking up speed and not slowing down?
God programmed movement into the physiology of our bodies too. Did you also know that something as simple as taking a short walk after dinner can not only help with digestion and weight loss but also manage your blood sugar, regulate your blood pressure, improve your heart health, reduce your stress levels and even help you get a better night’s sleep!
Now let’s take that scientific data and combine it with the following phrases from scripture:
Romans 1:20 (ESV) (God’s) invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.”
Psalm 19:1 (ESV) The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork.
The preceding verses teach something theologians call “general revelation”. That is, we can know what God is like by observing and studying what God has made. Even humans – reflecting the image of God, are the most movement-oriented species on the planet.
So when we combine science and scripture (as we always should), we discover a little more about ourselves – that we should be moving.
Why should this matter to you? Because I’m afraid the Church is often stuck. I’m afraid we often want eternal rest during this age of important work. That is, many Christians seek the comfort of a church that lets them enjoy its work and not partner with it. Some look for a station in life where they can relax and take it easy instead of putting their hands to work in the business of the Gospel. I remind you of God’s words to the rich fool who sought to “relax, eat, drink, be merry” (see Luke 12:19). In the very next verse, God says, “Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” (see Luke 12:20).
You were made to move, not seek your own comfort.
Our last 20 months have been a constant quest to return to normal. But what if normal never comes back? Can we move on? Can we embrace the unknown future with trust that God will make a way? My point in this post is to inspire action that produces an attitude in life where Christ is your center and security, so no alluring earthly temptation offering such things can grip your heart.
Two ideas come immediately to mind for you:
If you aren’t busy in the business of God, get started.
If you’d like the adventure of a lifetime doing it, go to Peru.
If you need extra motivation from me through God’s Word, grab a copy of my book!
May your movement be blessed.