Unhealthy Comfort by Kirsty Grant
For someone who’s personality is quite introverted, Covid-19 is right in my comfort zone! Crowds and conversation require a great deal of effort for me, so this season has been a welcome break. If there is a choice to be made between going out and meeting people or staying home and reading a book – the latter wins every time. It’s not that I don’t enjoy people’s company, or miss friends and family, but more, I don’t fear the isolation.
Lockdown; Self-isolation; Cocooning; Social distancing - they don’t concern me, they appeal to me. It’s an adjustment that I don’t struggle with. I’m quite content with my own company. While my husband is pacing the house hoping to bump into somebody for a chat, I’m just revelling in the peace and quiet!
As much as I have been comfortable with this forced isolation, it has been an unhealthy way for me to live. Being on my own, shut off from people and restricted from meeting as a Church family only fuels my selfish desire to be alone. It leads to disengagement with others which in turn leads to a disengagement with God.
This has been a real challenge for me knowing my personality. If I don’t intentionally respond, I drift. I need to remind myself daily through God’s Word, that He has called me to live as part of a community: ‘....to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.’ (Ephesians 4:1-3).
On my own I don’t see my sin, I don’t use the gifts I have been given and I don’t hear truth from others – Truth that takes the focus off myself and keeps the focus on Christ. I need you and you need me. We need to engage with one another, to be built up in our faith through His word, collectively and individually. We need each other to laugh, cry and rejoice. Rather than nurture my selfish independence, this is a time to thrive in our interdependence.
This is true not only with church family, it is true for everyone. God has made us all to live in community with him. It's within this relationship that we truly thrive and flourish. Just as I need encouragement, may I encourage those who are like me, not to cut yourself off. Step out of your comfort zone, rely on God’s grace, share the gospel and engage with those around you in a way you never did before. Together let’s not lose sight that God is at work through us, as individuals, and collectively as a church. He has not disengaged with us, so we should not disengage with each other.