As human beings, many of us like to dwell in a place where we are comfortable. This can take many forms: home, friends, family, where we eat, what we eat, who we regularly hang-out with, what we do with our spare time, to name but just a few. These comfort zones are places where we can feel safe, confident, secure.
Our Gospel selection for today indicates that Jesus wants us out of our comfort zones. We have this long (for Mark) story of the demoniac from Gerasenes who had legions of unclean spirits in him. Jesus cures him by sending those unclean spirits into the nearby swine who take a flying leap off a cliff. The towns-folk ask Jesus to leave because of this miracle and as he is doing so, the man he cured asks to come with him. Jesus has become his comfort zone: being in proximity to this Holy One is something this cured individual wants to perpetuate.
Jesus will have none of that though. He instructs the man to spread the knowledge of God's love to his friends and neighbors and he does so. Notice that Jesus doesn't send him out completely away from his comfort zone for he sends him to his friends as well as others. Being outside of our comfort zones is not an easy thing, yet taking those steps is a necessary endeavor to learn more about ourselves, our innate abilities and to show-off God's love for all of God's creation. We don't have to be out in that uncomfortable place alone, we don't have to be in that comfortless zone all the time or forever, we need to have refreshment and recharging time with friends within the comfort zone, but we have to step outside of that zone to help effectuate the Kingdom of God being created among us. In those comfortless zones, in those thin places in life, God can be more readily felt and experienced.
Copyright 2009, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.