Manual High School is a prominent school in Kentucky. Next door to the University of Louisville, its historic stadium has been the site of many memorable football games.
While some of the games and names may be well-known, little known, is that this historic 1923 stadium has its own full-time caretaker named Bobby Schroeder. When my friend Larry Wooldridge became principal at Manual, he was wise to seek advice from Bobby – much like Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor from the sitcom, Home Improvement, sought advice from his neighbor, Wilson.
Bobby, who’s seen much during his tenure at Manual, sagely said, “Larry, you become successful when the uncomfortable becomes comfortable.” This is true in leadership, in education and business, in diet and exercise, in relationships, and in any habit change. It rings just as true in following Christ.
Oftentimes people will say, “I can’t help it, that’s just the way I was made.”
Whether this reference is from the inability to bite their tongue at appropriate times, or dismissing procrastination as, “I work best under pressure!” Both are excuses to not change.
As a fellow procrastinator, I know that my nature does not want to change a time-management habit. I often do what is comfortable ... waiting to nearly the last minute. Praise God my wife is the opposite.
I take comfort in knowing that Paul struggled in the same way. The sinful nature does not want to change –“the Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”
Paul says in Romans 8:15 “…for what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”
With this as a backdrop, every day we are confronted with the spiritually uncomfortable.
“The good you want to do…
- Praying with your wife about everything, even your marriage
- Praying with your kids about who they are becoming
- Quiet time with the Lord
- Creating a spiritual rhythm in your home that can only come from making everyone put down what they are doing to pray together
- Overcoming fear of your neighbor’s reaction as you bring up what Christ is doing in your life
- Curbing kids’ weekend activities so church is always a priority
- Tightening your budget to give sacrificially to a need God has put in front of you
- Volunteering as a family, regularly
- Starting a father and son bible study to help him navigate his way in a culture that teaches the opposite of what it is to be a Godly man (perhaps Manhood Journey can help)
- Eat better and be in shape!
…you do not.”
Paul goes on in Galatians 5:16 – “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” Truly, we can’t help the way we were made. We are weak. We can do nothing apart from God. He is “the vine, we are the branches.” But the Lord promises that, “what is impossible with man, is possible with God.”
- Give you the courage to pray with your wife, kids, and neighbor
- Show you how to make time you thought you didn’t have
- Stretch your budget to give when you don’t think you can
Ask God to give you the courage to do the uncomfortable. Let us make war on our comfortable, sinful nature by walking by the Spirit, just as Jesus did.
By Chad Foster