REFLECTION: Out of the comfort zone, please PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 10 August 2014 14:02

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

WE must always be wary of our tendency to slide to our comfort zone that usually takes place in such subtle and deceiving way that we can even think that we are having a hard time while getting into it and wallowing in it.

Let’s always keep in mind what Christ said, ‘Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.’ This is the path we have to take in life.

This tendency to slide to our comfort zones comes as a result of the combined tricks of our wounded flesh, the world and the devil. In that state and condition, we of course would fail to do what we ought to do. We trigger a process of deterioration and decadence that can be accompanied by deceptive air of complacency and self-satisfaction.

Yet, in spite of all that, we actually never lose the sense of what ought to be done. God’s voice, no matter how muted and distorted, never fails to do some tapping at our consciences. There’s nothing so bad and evil in this world that would completely silence that voice.

Our duty, of course, is to be like many of these high-fidelity gadgets that can quickly and faithfully register sounds so that we can hear God’s voice and feel the impulse that it usually gives us.

That voice and impulse actually give us the meaning and direction of the tasks we need to do at any given moment. They are an invitation to do things and to live our life not only by ourselves, with our own estimations of what is good, true and beautiful, but always with God, our Creator and Father, who made us to be like him.

Let’s never forget that our life here on earth has always been some kind of a struggle, a warfare. For those who believe in God,  it is actually a war of peace and love, not of mere destruction, violence, and mere avid desire for power, wealth and fame.

It is a beautiful war that can make use of a richly equipped armory of spiritual and moral weapons. It is a war to attain our true dignity, or rather to recover it since we actually had it in the beginning of time but lost it through sin.

We obviously cannot and should not belittle the kind of enemies that we are ranged against. They are powerful and skilled in all techniques of deceit. Still we can have God with us. He actually never abandons us and, in fact, would pay greater attention to us when he would find us in danger of losing our dignity.

But we need to correspond to his presence and his ways. That is our problem, since very often we lull ourselves with many earthly things that would make us deaf to God’s promptings and interventions.

These earthly things, for certain, have their objective and legitimate value, except that we tend to use them out of proportion or with motives that are not quite right and healthy. We use them mainly to get a feel-good effect or for some merely practical purposes.

Our work is one such earthly element that, while having a objective value, can take us away from God and from our real duties. That’s when our work leads us to activism, workaholism or ‘professionalitis,’ instead of deeper sense of religion, piety and apostolic concern.

Other earthly things could be food, drinks, sex, music, movies, sports and other forms recreation and entertainment. Nowadays, we cannot deny the explosion of songs and films that can make us feel good but with messages that are quite questionable, and with melodies and themes that spoil the flesh but impoverish the spirit.

Nowadays, I often tell friends that while they may listen to any kind of music and watch any kind of movies and enjoy all of them, they should also feel the need to immerse themselves in sacred music and films with spiritual themes, if only to have some balance and to keep our proper bearing.

It cannot be denied that if we are constantly bombarded with stimuli that are Godless or mainly mundane, then we would slowly lose the sense of the sacred, we would put ourselves more and more at the mercy of the worldly and the sensual.

We would find it hard to pray, to make sacrifices, and to do our real duties. We would put ourselves in the corner of our comfort zone, oblivious of what would really matter in our life.