Friday, April 28, 2006

Sitting by the Heater

The minute the words left my lips I knew I should remember them.

My kids have developed a habit over the years. Near the door leading to the driveway is a small electric heater mounted in the wall. On cold mornings, they like to turn the heater on and sit there with warm air blowing directly on them. Usually I have to chase them away and turn the heater back down, all the while muttering about the high electric bills like the stereotypical dad.

This morning was a bit chilly. I had to be at a meeting at 9:00 and drop my 4 year old off at a babysitter's house at 8:30. In typical 4 year old fashion, time meant nothing to her. It was a struggle to get her out of her bed because it was so cozy and warm under the blankets, but finally she got up. I got her dressed and fixed her a bowl of cereal while I got things together for my meeting. It was time to leave and I walked back into the dining room to find that she wasn't there. But the hum of the heater near the door told me where she had gone.

I knew if I didn't get her in a pair of shoes and a jacket in the next 30 seconds, I'd probably be late for my meeting. So I told her she had to turn off the heater and get up.

"But Daddy, I'm cold and it's soooo warm and cozy here."

"Honey, we really need to go right now."

"But I'm so cozy."

Then the words just popped out. I wasn't sure if she would understand what I was saying or not, but reflex had taken over.

"Honey, sometimes we have to do the things we're supposed to do even if we're really cozy where we are now."

"Boy ain't that the truth," I thought to myself. There have been so many times when I didn't want to get out of bed, but I knew I had to be at work that day. There have been so many times when I was sitting so comfortably that the only way I would get off the couch was to be pulled by some heavy equipment. And there have been the times when I knew about things I needed to do, but I was just too cozy not doing them.

But I know I'm not alone. There are many people who would go to church on Sunday morning if it wasn't so comfortable using that one day to sleep in. There are people who won't stand for Christ because it's too cozy just hanging back in the shadows. There are churches who won't reach out to people because it's comfortable doing things they way they've always been done -- and nothing more.

We each have our little heaters to sit by. They make us so cozy and comfortable. But the thing is, we each have things we are supposed to be doing. We just get too cozy sitting by the heater. And when that happens we fail... we fail ourselves and we fail our God.


Jennifer said...

Wow, what a great analogy. Thanks, Rev.

julie said...

Yes sir. Thanks for the encouragement as I leave a cozy place for one that is uncomfortable.