When we look at people today, you will find that most people are addicted to comfort. Even if you look at cultures and socio-economic classes around the world, you will see that this is universally true. The big difference between the first world and the third world is that most of us in the first world have the financial means to what, in our own minds, we think will make us comfortable.
Rarely does our pursuit of comfort make itself clearly visible. Rather, it disguises itself in more seemingly altruistic disguises such as the pursuit of a passion, the establishment of a friendship or perhaps the opportunity to experience something new.
Now, obviously, these things are not inherently evil. Often there is genuineness imbedded in all of these. The danger comes when they are the shroud of an attempt at comfort.
I have a friend who is a lot like you and me. He wants to accomplish things, but he wants to do it with as little work as possible. The result of this is pure laziness. When things weren’t panning out for him, he began to complain. He would say things like, “I’m not happy here. I need to be around people who inspire me to do what I want to do.” So my friend moved halfway across the country and now, two years later my friend is still not doing what he wanted to be doing. He’s still unhappy. The only thing that changed is that he now lives in a different city.
This is a classic case of the “if only” syndrome.
The musician knowing they could write a hit record “if only I had that guitar.” Or the filmmaker knowing they could create that Academy Award winning film “if only I lived in LA.” Or the husband who thinks he could be a better one “if only we didn’t have such financial troubles.”
“If only I had…”
“If only I lived in…”
“If only I could…”
“If only he or she had done…”
“If only I knew…”
The bottom line is that in the pursuit of comfort, we try to change everything but ourselves to achieve it.
I think that’s why a lot of the people who I have heard say these things or begin to live them out have simultaneously turned away from God. It’s much easier to blame everything else, but all the while, God is saying, “what needs to change is your heart, your life, your actions.”
The truth is that what we’re really looking for isn’t comfort. That’s why there are so many unhappy millionaires and executives and rock stars and professors. They’ve reached the pinnacle of their fields, and still haven’t resolved that unsettled pursuit of comfort.
What we’re really looking for is peace, and peace comes from only one place. That is going to bed each night knowing that we’ve spent the day living out God’s dreams for our lives.
So, today, if you find yourself restless, root out the “if onlys” in your life. Take responsibility for yourself and begin living the life you were made to live.