Comfort zones or the Comforter?

My wife and I were having lunch the other day with a friend of mine who asked me why more Christian Scientists are not more public in letting others know what Christian Science has done for them.  Very perceptive of her and a really good point!

This is an individual who has experienced firsthand the transformative effects of Christian Science and rightly feels that it should be widely known and available to all.  She found it astounding that this wonderful truth would appear to be kept under wraps.

I fully understand what she was talking about.  I’ve seen how some of my fellow Christian Scientists are afraid to go and do what Jesus and Mary Baker Eddy require us to do—preach the gospel and heal the sick.

Why the reluctance?  Sometimes it’s because of a fear of condemnation, of judgment, of perhaps even thinking that their standing in a community, or with friends, or their employment would be jeopardized.  And this fear is nothing short of a blatant imposition on their thinking which has no right to be there and certainly needs to be overcome.

And then there are other folks who are just happy to stay in their comfort zone.  They’re satisfied with their mental surroundings.  They feel happy within their family and neighborhood, or with their church family, for instance.

You might be thinking “What’s wrong with that?”  Well, certainly there’s nothing wrong with being happy.  But on the other hand, comfort zones are by their very nature a problem.  They induce in the individual a state of false security—of fraudulent contentment—whereby the person becomes satisfied by not going forward.  By not progressing spiritually.  They mistake the sense of comfort—of the familiar, of the ease, of the unthinking ritualistic repetition of activities—for movement.

Such a mental state can seduce the person—or even collectively a branch church—into actually thinking that “keeping things going” is the same as progressing, when in fact it is anything but that.  If we’re not moving forward, then we are actually moving backward as the strong currents of mortal thought eventually engulf us.

What’s the alternative?

The Comforter.  This all-encompassing mental state of spiritual reality impels us to move forward—to progress.  It causes us to divest ourselves of the old beliefs and ways of doing things.  It gives us a comfort that is deeply satisfying but never static.  It transforms and regenerates.

The Comforter changes our every perception.  It causes us to more fully love God and our neighbor.  It makes us better healers.

Mary Baker Eddy wrote (Science and Health, p. 55):

Truth’s immortal idea is sweeping down the centuries, gathering beneath its wings the sick and sinning. My weary hope tries to realize that happy day, when man shall recognize the Science of Christ and love his neighbor as himself, — when he shall realize God’s omnipotence and the healing power of the divine Love in what it has done and is doing for mankind. The promises will be fulfilled. The time for the reappearing of the divine healing is throughout all time; and whosoever layeth his earthly all on the altar of divine Science, drinketh of Christ’s cup now, and is endued with the spirit and power of Christian healing.

In the words of St. John: “He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.” This Comforter I understand to be Divine Science.

And this Comforter–which inevitably brings Christian healing—is the one and only infinite “zone” we need to be in!

3 thoughts on “Comfort zones or the Comforter?

  1. I love your perspective on the “infinite zone” of the Comforter, Ken! I’ve always preferred to think of expanding my “comfort zone” into the Science of Christianity; the kingdom of heaven, rather than leaving my “comfort zone.” Entering into the peace of God that moves us forward is a better model than than just the idea of going beyond what’s humanly comfortable. Yes, that may be necessary but it’s better to know the comfort of Christ that is ever with us no matter how turbulent “the ever agitated but healthful waters of truth” are. Thanks for sharing your inspiration!

    • Hi Cassie,

      Thanks! And thanks for your thoughts, too!

      I’ve found that moving out of our comfort zone is always prayer-based, but it’s also a simple willingness to move forward. I’m not talking about a personal willing of it by any means, but simply giving mental consent to go forward. It also, of course, involves being alert to the signs of inertia that would lull us into stagnancy.

      For me a basic prayer like “Here I am, Lord. Use me.” has led me time and again to experiences and places that I would have never dreamed of and were without a doubt not in my “comfort zone.” Much spiritual growth took place as a result and, of greater import, a commensurate increase in the ability to heal and bless others. And isn’t that what this is all about?

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