"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Monday, August 18, 2014

Are you all comfy cozy?

  I’ve written before about times when I’m starting to feel all warm and fuzzy cozy then some type of change (horrors) loom on my horizon. I don’t like change. I don’t relish change. I run from change. Yet, for all my kicking, screaming and denial….change comes. And it usually is a doozie.

  A couple weeks ago, Pastor Greg spoke on “are we comfortable in our faith and our walk with God.” Of course, I sit there nodding in affirmation and praise for this insightful man knowing how comfortable and pleased I am in my spiritual walk. Then…..he lowers the boom on me by finishing up that none of us should be comfortable in our walk. None of us should be so comfortable that we don’t consider new fields and new areas of ministry work. If we are so comfy cozy, then there’s something wrong in our communication with God.

  Whoa! I’m sure that when what he said sunk into my feeble brain, I must have jerked in the seat as if a lightning bolt had zapped me from above. And then, I began to think back over my years in a church and began to see how the hand of God dipped in when He saw I was comfortable, cozy and, even, complacent in my life and ministry.
  The changes had begun when I started visiting and preaching at the little church in a bar on Tybee Island a few years ago. That wonderful, quirky fellowship of believers opened my mind and heart to other methods and ways to minister and the fact that we are all God’s children…red, yellow, black, white, rich, poor, hungry, fat, homeless, mansion, houseboat, good singer, tone deaf…the whole range of creation. And I embraced it!

  Then, many people did not understand how I could walk away from serving as a church pianist after 47 years. But, I had known for a long time that I needed to do it. I wasn’t happy and wasn’t worshipping, so how could I be one of the worship leaders, if I could not worship as I needed to any longer. Now I realize that it was because I had gotten so comfortable. Let’s face it, I am a great pianist. I can sight read like crazy, read chord charts and can do traditional and contemporary with a degree of ease. I play piano, organ, synthesizers, guitar, ukulele and have a love/hate relationship with a flute. Music is my life. Church music is my love and passion, but after this many years, the joy had gone because it had become rote. I had become comfortable and cozy on the bench. So, it was time to back away and learn how to worship again.

  Part of that process has also been to find a church where I could attend, serve and be in a worship setting that touches my heart as well as my creative spirit. There are many churches in the area that fit this description, but I found one that called my name from my first step through the front door. And that church is where I received my lightning bolt of clarity. Maybe I had been too comfortable in a sister denomination for 60 years, or maybe God knew for this next season of my life, my place was to serve in the Methodist church. For whatever reason, for such a time as this, I know this is where I need to be. I know with no doubt that a great adventure is just beginning for me in service.

  So, folks, if you follow my journeys much at all, you know I’ve been at loose ends for quite a number of years. I was comfortable, yet extremely uncomfortable at the same time. I knew it was time for a change, I didn’t want a change, but, once I made the decision with all trust and faith in God being in control, I took the leap and it is a good thing. A very good thing. Proverbs 3:5-6 has stayed in the front of my mind this whole time. I needed “to trust in the Lord with all my heart and NOT depend on my own understanding.” My prayer is that I may never be comfy cozy again….and that neither will you.

  And for today, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy. 


At 5:45 PM, Blogger CWMartin said...

"Comfy" from a Pastor is always a red flag. Boy, did you walk into THAT one!

At 2:50 PM, Blogger Jimmy said...

HaHa! Yep, I was asking for that.


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