I’ve had this quote from a past post to the Jack’s Wining Words blog rattling around in my saved quotes bin for some time – “Be always restless, unsatisfied, unconforming. Whenever a habit becomes convenient, SMASH IT!” (Nikos Kazantzakis)
I suspect that was because I couldn’t get comfortable with Kazantzakis’ advice to “SMASH IT.” I’m OK with it if we tone it down just a bit. I think it is good advice to always be a bit restless, to always questions things and to try not to get stuck in ruts of comfort or convenience. In fact, one of the definitions that pop up when you Google “convenient” is this – involving little trouble or effort. Getting comfortable with convenience in life leads inevitably to complacency.Complacency is defined as “a feeling of smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one’s achievements”.
It is all too easy in life to become complacent. We often hear it referred to as having routines – things that we just tend to do day-after-day until we wear a rut in life that can sometimes be hard to get out of. There is a danger in becoming stuck in those ruts. I have written here in the past about never stopping the learning process (See my post Don’t Go Through Life Grow Through Life). Acting on your natural curiosity to try to learn the Why’s and How’s of things around us as well as exploring the Who’s that we encounter is what keeps life interesting.
The same can become true of our faith. We can get into complacent habits about prayer or about church attendance. This past year, it has been especially easy to drop into convenient and complacent ruts about church and about our faith. Yet church has gone on through it all and faith was even more important than ever during the inconveniences of the pandemic. Break out of those ruts. Find new ways to put your faith into action. There are countless volunteer organizations in every community who need your help. They don’t care if you are doing it as an act of your faith in action, but you should. The more out of your old comfort zone the better because that takes more faith. Put that T-shirt slogan “God’s Work Our Hands” into action.
So, if your daily habits have turned into convenient and complacent ruts, take Kazantzakis’ advice and smash your way out of them. Don’t end up like a mime in is imaginary glass box. Get out of your comfort zone (it is a rut). Go out of your way to meet new people, go to new places, and have new experiences. Be restless, unsatisfied and unconforming (at least to your own habits) and keep learning. And don’t let complacency rule your faith either. Never be satisfied that you have prayed enough, gone to church enough and done enough. Enough is never enough, even though it may feel convenient.
SMASH your complacent habits and do more!
Break out of convenient!