“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen” (2 Peter 3:18).
“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation…” (1 Peter 2:2).
“But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:14).
A life of following Jesus is a life of constant growth and change. This growth presents a number of challenges. For example, I need to be aware of my spiritual diet and exercise if I am going to grow. If I am not going to eat, I am not going to grow. If I am not going to exercise, I am not going to grow stronger.
A willingness to change also provides some substantial challenges. These changes become more difficult as we grow older and become settled into our routines. These changes can be almost impossible when we establish our preferences. These changes are often hindered or stopped by our comfort zones.
We get so comfortable with our diet of milk that we find it hard to add solid foods of any kind to our diet, much less meat. We get so comfortable with our likes, dislikes, and preferences that we find it difficult to see how anyone could not accept our comfort zone as the way it ought to be.
Since moving to St. Louis I have found a radio station that I really like. Just about every time I get into the car I listen to this station. The station plays music I like. The station plays music I know. The station plays music with which I can sing along. The station plays music with familiar beats. The station plays music with pleasing chords. The station plays music that I have been listening to and enjoying for 25 years. I love the comfortable, familiar sound of the music they play.
So this morning, while driving to my office, I changed the station. I changed the radio to a station that plays music that is unfamiliar to me. The station plays music I have never heard before. The station plays music with a beat that makes it hard for me to groove. The station plays music with which I cannot sing along not just because I don’t know the words, but also because I can’t even understand the words.
So why did I change the station? I did it as a spiritual discipline. I did it realizing that if I can’t change the music I listen to, I am never going to be able to make other changes I need to make. If I am so locked into my comfort zone with my music, I just may be locked into my comfort zone in other areas, notably at church. If I am captive to the comfort provided by the music of the past, I might miss opportunities to learn and stretch and grow.
I changed the station. I hope this simple change will enable me to change and grow in other areas of much greater importance.