Don’t Get Too Comfortable In This World
On August 24, 2020, the UPI reported on a kitten that made a 30-mile trip lodged deep under the hood of a car. The car owner, Rosalind O’Brien of Cheshire, England, had spotted the kitty the day before and had forgotten about him. But at the end of her 30-mile trip, much of it on the expressway, she distinctly heard a high-pitched meow from somewhere in her car.
Having no idea where “Mr. Kitty” might be trapped, Rosalind called the RSPCA. An agent responded and found Mr. Kitty buried deep in the engine compartment, underneath a labyrinth of dirty hoses and wires. How it survived the fumes and the red-hot exhaust manifold, the agent couldn’t explain. The RSPCA cleaned him up and gave him back to Rosalind, who’s now keeping him as her own.
Cats always seek the coziest places – not unlike us. But these comfy spots can get very bad in a hurry. Do you remember Percy, the big orange tabby? He’s the cat who escaped the stuffiness of the tractor-trailer cab while his owner slept at a rest area. Once outside in the cool air, Percy decided to curl up in the trailer’s undercarriage. Then, when it was time to leave, Percy refused to respond to his owner’s calls. It was too cozy hiding underneath the trailer. Consequently, Percy had to spend the next 400 miles in that “cozy” nook, all through a snowstorm. At the end of the journey Percy was covered in slush – but was cured of his wandering ways.
Then there was Bobby. He was a Bengal mixed breed cat, who had the habit of curling up in the family washing machine whenever it was filled with clothing. His owner didn’t discover him until half-way through the spin cycle. According to her, Bobby never came near the laundry room again. Both Percy and Bobby survived without injury. But they learned the hard lesson that the coziest places can turn to hell in a heart-beat.
Sadly, the passengers aboard the Titanic never got a second chance. Those who choose to stay in the warm beds instead of boarding the half-empty lifeboats in the freezing cold would pay the ultimate price. Their comfy spots turned to a freezing, watery grave within a few hours. Even those who went topside – after it became apparent that something was seriously wrong – found no room in the few remaining lifeboats.
What are the coziest spots in our world today? It’s not in warm beds and safe under the blankets. No. The cozy places are where we can enjoy the praise of this world by adopting its values, its beliefs, and its narrative. We can only feel at home in this world by conforming to it, by abandoning our allegiance to Jesus Christ and swearing fealty to a culture that is openly hostile to Him. Only then can we escape the media’s condemnation and scorn. Only then can we be with the in-crowd.
Today the price of acceptance by our pop culture is to embrace all its perversity, racism, and prejudice. It requires that we hate people – not for what they’ve done – but simply for their ethnicity, gender, and ideology. But this cozy spot is a doomed, sinking ship. “The world is passing away and all its lusts with it,” warned the apostle John. “But whoever does the will of God will live forever” (1 John 2:17).
We have a choice in this fleeting life, a choice of feeling “at home” in this world or feeling out-of-place in it as God prepares us for Heaven. If God is making us fit for Heaven by conforming us into the image of Jesus, then this world will become increasingly caustic and hostile to us. Its sin and perversion will appall and grieve us. We will yearn, more and more, for a land where righteousness reigns. To those who submit to the Lord’s discipline – which is preparing us for eternity in Heaven – this life will be like boarding lifeboats in the bone-chilling air. Yes, for the moment it’s quite uncomfortable. But it will save our eternal souls.
So, if you are following Jesus, endure the discomfort for His sake. Submit to His discipline, as He commands us in Hebrews 12:4-11. Don’t become weary in doing good but keep praying and laboring for God’s Kingdom (1 Corinthians 15:58; Galatians 6:7-10). For, soon and very suddenly, things will change from night to day. Either death will release us from this confining and pain-filled life. Or Jesus will descend from heaven to deliver us from this dying world and resurrect us to eternal glory (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
“Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever” (Daniel 12:2-3).
PRAYER: Dear Father in Heaven, please open my eyes to the dangers of getting too cozy in this world. Though becoming more Christ-like makes living in it more intolerable, I welcome that tension and stress, that I may enjoy heaven’s glories all the more. Remind me, O God, that this world is passing away, along with all its pleasures – but whoever does the will of God will live eternally with You. Amen.
(Information from: https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2020/08/24/Kitten-survives-30-mile-drive-in-engine-compartment-of-car/7081598295480/; https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-36912549#:~:text=A%20kitten%20that%20was%20accidentally,noise%22%20from%20inside%20the%20appliance; https://www.twincities.com/2017/03/06/2784661/)