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Comfortable Challenge
by Beth Muehlhausen
06/17/05
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Hiking along a trail edged with a wild profusion of rocks and shaggy fern-like undergrowth, I trudge along, making tracks toward some higher ground. The trail itself is well-worn most of the time, packed and dry, with only occasional fallen logs and exposed tree roots slowing my progress. This trip has invigorated me for some time now, with new and breathtaking sights. But today, I feel hindered. The impediment comes not from the conditions of the trail, but from my own hesitancy to get going, to keep plodding, to not lose sight of the goal.

Itís all too easy at this stage of my life to want to sit along the edge of the trail. To just enjoy the view, feel the sun on my face, drink up the familiar sights and sounds. Even though a true-life-adventure might be awaiting me just around that next bend, Iíd rather forfeit such potential excitement for a more secure sense of well-being. There is nothing wrong with this spot, right here. It is a comfort thing.

I know that nothing stays the same for long, however. Even if I choose to sit still along the trail of life, my surroundings will certainly change. Storms will come up. Night will fall. New danger or opportunity may lurk in the shadows, tempting me to take a harder and longer look beyond my restful stance. I must necessarily become thirsty, and hungry; tired and stiff from sitting so long. And so my choice lies between two options - a downward retreat toward complacency, or a confrontational exploration that reaches upward toward new frontiers.

Itís time to get going again, to push ahead, to progress. I am grateful for a chance to sit awhile. Thank God that He has promised to take me by the hand and lead me on the remaining journey, and to provide plenty of rest stops along the way. That is comfort I can trust.

copyright 2005 Beth Muehlhausen


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