I like being comfortable. I like squishy chairs, fluffy pillows, and furry dogs (those hairless dogs give me the heebie-jeebies). It's just who I am. Some people like to go hiking and play tennis, and I do all those things occasionally, but I much prefer to lounge around the house, in my underwear, sipping on a CocaCola Classic, watching a good Harry Potter movie, attacking Oreo's like a very large, very lazy, voracious predator. Like I said, it's just who I am.
I also like hanging with the people I already know. They won't surprise me, they very rarely let me down, and they accept me for who I really am. It's not that they don't think that I'm weird, it's that they still love me even though I am weird, and trust me... I'm as weird as they come.
We have had a lot of guests and visitors lately @ Raya, and they taught us something very important: Our group was comfortable. We never really shared anything deep with each other because we were satisfied with the shallow relationships that we had developed. No one was pushed, so no one could get hurt. What we failed to understand was that no one could be healed either. It took the honesty of some outsiders to crack our fragile little shells wide open, and spill our souls onto the carpet for everyone to see.
Being comfortable is not a bad thing (if it is I'm in big trouble), but in the context of meaningful, worthwhile relationships it can be a serious hindrance. This is one reason why we are open to new guests, or anyone really, who wants to attend our group. First of all, we want our friends, old and new, to be able to experience the kind of open, honest relationships that God so often uses to transform lives. And second, these new relationships that we forge, test and stretch our faith in ways that we never imagined. In experiencing all that God's created beings are, we encounter the Creator himself.