I’m not big on small talk. If I made a list of the top 3 things that annoy me constantly, it’s drivers who don’t dim their brights, incorrect merchandise pricing in the favor of the store, and then small talk with strangers. I like a conversation that has something substantial in it… not “So… is it still sunny outside?” when it’s dark and the moon is up.
Some people thrive on small talk and they build intense, life-long relationships from it. That’s just not me. Ask me about anything: football, baseball, my opinion on the gravitational nature of black holes, or whatever. Let’s just not talk about when it might snow this year, ok?
And better yet, let’s go get some coffee or tea or something while we talk.
Someone yesterday asked if our 4 kids were actually all ours. This was followed up with the classic question “Are they all healthy too?” I had someone else stop me to talk about Russell Wilson. I had another person stop to talk to me about how he hurt his knee in the military and met his wife at Walmart.
I don’t like being social. It makes me uncomfortable. Yet being uncomfortable is exactly what Christianity demands of us quite often.
One of the worst things we can do is be complacent with our faith. Whether we believe we have finally come to know everything so we stop asking questions or we just don’t want to test our circumstances because we feel pretty comfortable at any given moment, it’s easy to accept what we know. It’s not so easy to accept the need for change.
Yet Christianity is a faith, I believe, that should always be evolving just as the world is always evolving. If God created creatures to adapt to their environment and created humanity to be intelligent and adaptable to a wide range of circumstances, then why shouldn’t are faith also have an evolving element to it?
Why do we insist on having a static faith?
In order for a faith to grow, that faith must step outside its comfort zone and get dirty. It’s got to be put to trials and tests so that it can be sharpened. There’s the easy way and then there’s the right way, and the right way, I believe, is to allow our faith to be molded so that we truly can be an asset for the Kingdom of God.
I look to the story contained in Acts 12 for both sides of this situation. One one hand, you’ve got King Herod persecuting Christians. He’s arrested Peter and intends to put him on public trial to gain favor from others, especially the Jews. On the other hand, you’ve got people who are praying for Peter in secret, behind closed doors.
God sends an angel to free Peter, who is being guarded by four watches of four guards each. Peter goes to where people are praying for him, a woman recognizes his voice, and then no one believes her when she says that Peter is at the door. So what does Peter do? He keeps knocking.
We as Christians are ready to take those first few steps. We’re willing to pray for others. We’re ready with tithes, offerings, and other forms of support. When it’s time to open the door, however, we struggle to believe that God can do what He says He can do. Why is this?
Because we’re unwilling to get uncomfortable enough to see how God truly works. In order to find the comfort in being uncomfortable, we have to step outside our comfort zones, go places where we normally wouldn’t go, and help people we normally wouldn’t help. It’s hard to see God moving when life entails the same routine on a daily basis.
God is at your heart’s door. He’s knocking. It might be an uncomfortable social situation or it might involve being jailed for your faith that He’s got in mind for you. Are you willing to open the door to see what He’s got in store for you?
Or are you going to keep the door closed, content in what you already have?