Did you ever build couch cushion forts as a kid? I did. With great care and precision, I would stack and prop the cushions until they were in the prime positions. Pushing one cushion from the front of my fort, I would leave my safe, soft confines long enough to gather my toys, crawl back into my structure and then seal the opening behind me. I controlled what entered and what exited my little fortress.
Sometimes I think we do a similar thing in Christianity: build a fortress, seal ourselves inside and come out long enough to gather our toys only to crawl to “safety” once again.
Once we surround ourselves with soft walls of spirituality that bear little weight, become fascinated with the “toys” in our lives that we value far too much, or insulate and isolate ourselves from the “outside” world by structures of our own making, we become focused on our comfort and ease. And as long as I focus upon myself, my view of everyone else becomes dim. Once my focus is firmly set upon maintaining my comfort, then anything or anyone that runs contrary to my plans for ease poses an unacceptable level of threat. After all, I’ve worked hard to arrange the cushions on my fort as I think they should be arranged. I like to stay put.
The words of George McLeod challenge life in our cozy forts…
I simply argue that the cross should be raised at the center of the marketplace as well as on the steeple of the church. I am recovering the claim that Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles, but on a cross between two thieves on the town’s garbage heap; at a crossroad so cosmopolitan they had to write His title in Hebrew and Latin and Greek…at the kind of place where cynics talk smut and thieves curse, and soldiers gamble. Because that is where He died and that is what He died about.
In light of our tendency to “hunker down and hide out,” the words of Jesus in Luke 10:2, hit hard: “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
How much time are you spending trying to make your life predictable, comfortable and easy at the expense of truly living for Christ, laying your entire life before Him in total surrender and being willing to do whatever He calls you to do?
Is it time for you to leave your fort?