Comfort of Routine
Maybe I’m alone in this, but I find comfort in the routine. This may shock you, but I don’t care for change. Change can be and often is good, but it takes me a significant amount of time to adjust. (Insert Presbyterian joke here).
We all have an established routine. We get up at the same time, we stop at the same coffee shop, go the same route to work. If things cause our mornings to be different than they normally are, it can frustrate us more than it should. We are creatures of habit.
The Gospel of Mark
As a church we’re going through the Gospel of Mark, paying particular attention to Jesus’ call to discipleship. Mark is an awesome book to read. It’s written in a reader-friendly way. Mark is brief, but the narrative is action-packed. He doesn’t give a lot of a detail, so what Mark does reveal is often significant.
There is a particular passage I love which Ryan will be preaching on this Sunday. It’s Jesus’ interaction with the Garasene Demoniac. You know, the healing where Jesus sends the demons into a herd of pigs who then take up the new hobby of cliff diving. (Mark 5:1-20) As I was reading the passage for Sunday I was struck by people were begging Jesus to leave their neighborhood. Earlier in the gospel Jesus would be surrounded by people seeking healing and restoration. Now he’s being run out of town. Why?
Jesus upset the order of things
They ran Jesus out of town because he had upset the social order. Sure… he may have healed a man who had been battling so many demons to the point of being shacked (even though that didn’t work.) The more I thought about it, the more I got it. Not only was there an economic cost to have thousands of pigs go swimming, but there was also the societal cost. The people from the neighborhood had gotten used to the way things were. The people were apprehensive that Jesus had disrupted their delicately balanced adjustment to the demon-possessed crazy man.
To be honest, I’m not sure how I would react. Part of me would like to think I’d stand in amazement, part of me knows that I would struggle with the change. Even if it is good change. Jesus totally disrupted the social order. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe when we find ourselves too comfortable we need to have Jesus come into our lives and shake things up a bit. Maybe we all need a little Holy Disruption in our lives.
This Lenten season is an opportunity to be open to having a holy disruption. Whether we take on a discipline or give something up – I encourage you to think, to pray, and to ask God to come and speak to you. Invite God to shake things up a bit. I think in the end you’ll end up praising God and telling everyone you know.