Recently I’ve had to start arriving at church a little earlier in order to get my seat. This is not, you understand, because there won’t be any seats left, but rather because someone keeps sitting in my seat. Obviously they are unaware that it is my seat as there is nothing to denote it as such, and I don’t really feel that I can tell them, because there are plenty of other places to sit. It’s a petty thing but it does illustrate the fact that we all tend to create ‘comfort zones’ around us where we feel safe, and it takes some effort to choose to move out from them.
Often it is the care and concern for others that pushes us to give up our comfort and take risks – for example the courageous doctors and nurses who work for the charity Doctors Without Borders, a number of whom have recently lost their lives in Syria and Afghanistan.
Unsurprisingly we see this played out most supremely in the life of Jesus. The apostle Paul writing to the church in Philippi urges Christians to follow the example of Christ, who left His ‘comfort zone’ – equality with God – and ‘made himself nothing, humbling himself and becoming obedient to death on a cross.’ Jesus sacrifices Himself because He loves us, and contrary to the selfishness of human nature, His example inspires us to the same.