I am increasingly realizing that I have been terribly duped for much of my life. My flesh has conspired with the American culture of hedonism to raise me on a steady diet of the consideration, “What do I feel like doing?” Some regular variations include, “What would make me more comfortable?” “What would make me happy?” and “What is easiest?” Let’s face it, a great deal of the advertising that bombards us on a daily basis is built on these kinds of questions.
And it usually starts very early. As a parent, I have a tremendous responsibility to train my child in the reality that being led by these flesh-directed considerations will not bring him to fulfillment, joy, and freedom. No small task, when the millions of mighty voices of our worldly culture are chanting in unison, “Have it your way!”
I am sick of being duped by this insidious lie that my flesh will lead me to contentment. It never has, and it never will. God, have mercy on me. Lord, free me from this self-imposed slavery. Spirit, lead me in the paths of righteousness.
And so – last night I decided to defy this old way of life. I checked my schedule for the coming day, and realized I didn’t have to be in the office until late in the day. “Yes! A perfect morning for sleeping in!!! My wife will head to school for the day with our son, leaving me to enjoy the peaceful slumber of an empty house. Beautiful!” Thus spoke the old familiar voice of Comfort. And then another voice spoke within me. A voice more removed, and yet, somehow more intimate. “You don’t need more sleep. Your son does need more time with you, though. And, haven’t you been seeking to cultivate a life of greater discipline?”
Okay, Lord, you guide my steps. And, so I said, “Hey son. How about if I drive you to school tomorrow? Would that be cool?” So this morning, I got up “early,” led my son through his morning tasks, and drove him to school. And not that there is always an immediate, tangible reward for following the voice of God rather than the voice of Comfort, but today there was. As we sat in the car line, waiting for his teacher to bring him to his classroom, we discovered he had his first loose tooth. It was a wonderful moment of growth and mystery and creation and relationship. A moment I would have missed if my lazy bum had been lying in bed, slumbering to the soothing melodies of Comfort.