Don’t Make Yourself TOO Comfortable! (Diet for Dreamers)

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Thomas Edison once stated, “Discontent is the first necessity of progress.” If you examine many of the innovations of the 20th Century, and ponder the motivations behind them, you’ll understand Edison was right. No one invents anything simply to prove it can be done. Innovators (and dreamers) aren’t like mountain climbers; they don’t accomplish something great “because it’s there”!

Vaccines are developed when disease threatens our civilization; faster modes of transportation because people are … well, in a hurry; smaller, smarter, more powerful phones and tablets because we want to be able to communicate, access information, and enjoy all the other benefits of computers on the go and with less to lug around. The point is, when a society finds itself in an undesirable situation, or isn’t satisfied with its level of comfort or convenience, it generally responds with the innovations necessary to elevate itself from its troubling circumstances.

What was the motivation behind the invention of the electric light? Several people were striving to make it work — Edison stuck with it until he succeeded — but why so much interest? Well, can you imagine what it was like to read by a kerosene lamp? Or worse, a flickering candle? Edison and others weren’t satisfied with these relatively poor sources of light. They wanted something better.

Many inventors such as Edison or Henry Ford also wanted to solve a specific problem. Ford used the assembly line to overcome time constraints in production. Milton S. Hershey formulated a chocolate bar that resisted melting at temperatures above 90 degrees fahrenheit because U.S. troops in WWII needed just such a bar.

Edison goes on to state, “Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I’ll show you a failure.” A strong statement — which may sound illogical as well as unbiblical. It’s neither. When we’re comfortable, we’re not challenged to change, and specifically, to improve. If we’re satisfied with where we are in life, we’ll stop trying to go higher. Getting back to Edison’s first statement, when we’re discontent with our surroundings, our wasteful or harmful habits, our spiritual state, we’re more likely to make the necessary changes. Discontent is a powerful motivator. Which is why, in life, many people have to hit rock bottom before they get fed up enough to finally change.

So, in life, in innovation, in our relationships with God and the people around us, we never want to become complacent. Now, this doesn’t mean we should become discontent with what the Lord has blessed us with. The Apostle Paul said, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12-13 NIV) To do anything less is to present our Lord with an ungrateful spirit. On the other hand, we should always strive to improve ourselves, our circumstances, and the circumstances and conditions of others. Let us all work together to make the world a better place.

If you’re pursuing a dream or trying to achieve a goal, you’re more likely to achieve it once you make up your mind NOT to be complacent. Make the most of whatever situation you’re in, and by all means, be happy! But don’t get too comfortable. Aim higher. And then, when you find yourself overworked and underpaid, unchallenged and confined, by a job, a relationship, etc., you’ll probably also discover the motivation you need to pay the price, to do what it takes to succeed, or to change.

Meow. Yawn. Meow.

People who are comfortable tend to stay right where they are, whether it’s the recliner in front of the TV or a job that’s “not great but pays pretty good.”  So, don’t get comfortable — unless you’re planning on staying for awhile. Be discontent enough to climb out, climb higher, keep on climbing. Not because “it’s there” but because you long for something better, greater, nobler.

“Jabez prayed to the God of Israel: Please bless me and give me more territory. May your power be with me and free me from evil so that I will not be in pain. God gave him what he prayed for.” (1 Chronicles 4:10 GOD’S WORD)

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“Coffee, Tea or Me?” (Angel in the Kitchen)

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Recently, one of us got a drink from the tap. Little did we know that just minutes before, one of us had been doing the dishes — with the hot water running. But now the water in the line was no longer hot. Now it had cooled a bit, so it was only lukewarm. One sip was all it took to realize IT WAS DISGUSTING! A cool glass of water is so refreshing, and hot water is truly useful for so many wonderful things — but it was hard to resist spitting out this “in between” drink!

We started thinking about other beverages that are great either HOT or COLD — but rarely in between. Hot cocoa is delicious when piping hot. And if you refrigerate what’s left over, it makes a frosty chocolate drink.

We all know nothing beats a cold glass of lemonade on a scorching summer day; and although we’ve never tried it, we’ve heard of people drinking hot lemonade to remedy colds and sore throats.

We suppose there are those who’ll drink tepid tea or coffee, but most of us can’t stand either of these mainstays when they’re lukewarm. Coffee or tea that’s sat around is gross! On the other hand, both coffee and tea at either end of the “temperature taste” scale are enticing and invigorating. Both are hot libations that comfort us and help us face the day. Iced tea is a mealtime favorite and iced coffee is a guilty pleasure. But in between, neither of these drinks are very palatable.

There’s a silly but cute old made-for-TV movie called Coffee, Tea or Me?, which starred Karen Valentine as a daffy airline stewardess looking for a husband. The 1973 movie was loosely based on the novel of the same name, a highly-fictionalized account of the “swinging” life of stewardesses, which managed to unfairly stereotype women in this demanding job — and which led to the mainstream adoption of the expression “coffee, tea or me?”

We mention this because the phrase is perfect for the point we wish to make. Some things, like coffee and tea, are great if they are either HOT or COLD. Otherwise they’re a bit repulsive. In God’s eyes — and here’s where the “me” part comes in — people are the same way!

Our Heavenly Father delights in us when we’re on fire (extremely passionate) for Him. This doesn’t mean we go around acting like dorks who can’t talk about anything but God. But it does mean our focus is on Him and doing His will, and on being pleasing in His sight. It means loving God, and if we love God, then we demonstrate it by doing our utmost to obey Him, and to love others. We’ll come up short time and again, but we’re constantly trying to rise higher.

If we’re cold, God looks down upon us and sees great potential. He loves the non-believer, but He doesn’t expect anything from him or her; because God understands that the non-believer doesn’t yet know the basics. The believer doesn’t get off quite so easily. God expects more because we know more and have more. When we accept Christ as our redeemer, we become a member of God’s family — and He hopes we’ll behave ourselves and not act like a bunch of black sheep.

God can work with people who are HOT (on fire for God) or COLD (non-believing with awesome potential), but He doesn’t have much use for those of us who are in-between. He actually finds a “lukewarm” believer distasteful: “…Because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:16 NIV) Scary, right? Like a drink of tepid tea or room temperature coffee, a half-hearted, unenthusiastic, apathetic, indecisive, wishy-washy believer is NOT palatable to our Lord.

Luke warm! Yuck!

Are you hot, cold or lukewarm to God? If your answer is lukewarm, then ask yourself, “What happened to cause me to grow lukewarm?” Have you allowed hurts and disappointments to cool your passion for God? Have you simply grown weary in well-doing? Or have you lost your first love?

You may be attending church religiously; you may be active in ministry. These things are important, but what God really wants from you is a RELATIONSHIP, not RELIGION. He wants you to love Him, trust in Him, and abide in Him — to do the right thing to please Him, not to fulfill a formula or follow a ritual or be seen by somebody.

If you’ve allowed your relationship with our Heavenly Father to get tepid, ask Him to relight the fire that was once in you. Return to your first love, and the enthusiasm you once had. Stop sitting on the fence. You can once again be hot-stuff for the Lord. “Coffee, tea or ME!”

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