I believe in being uncomfortable. In the world in which we live, I have noticed that everyone has a box. I’m not talking about the boxes that TV’s and refrigerators come in, rather the boxes we as humans put ourselves into to feel comfortable. I believe that by staying in this person box, eternal progression or our “personal progress” moves about as fast as a snail. The happiest people I have ever met are those who have jumped outside of these personal boxes of doom. They are people who have dared to be different. They are people who have been willing to do things that at first seem uncomfortable but in the end, end up stretching them and forming them into the happy people they are today. You see, I believe that life is too short to be “comfortable”. I have found out for myself that in our lives the best thing for our personal progression is change. The word change often sends cold chills down people’s spines, but I have come to find out that change is the first step in jumping outside of that box in which we put ourselves into. Change in course takes us outside of our box, which then of course makes us happier. In other words, change equals happiness.
As a young boy I was forced to leave the people I loved and move from Utah to Texas. After a week in Texas, I was three times happier than I had ever been in Utah. That same change occurred as I was forced to move from Texas back to Utah. I can remember being so upset but once again after being a total of one week in Utah, I was ten times happier than I had been in Texas. When the opportunity was given to me to move in the middle of my senior year from Utah to Idaho and this time it was my decision, I looked back on the history of my previous moving experiences and noticed that my happiness only increased with every move. This time the decision was totally in my hands and, believe it or not, I took that leap of faith and made the biggest change of my entire life. People thought I was crazy but what they didn’t know is that the first three uncomfortable weeks up in Idaho were the best weeks of my life. I was able to find out who I was as a person and who I wanted to become. That year and a half in Idaho was the best year and a half of my life at that point. I learned what the word stretch really meant. I learned life lessons that in turn helped me as I made another life change: This time it was moving to a foreign country for the space of two years. Talk about being uncomfortable. Try speaking a language that you feel your mouth isn’t capable of speaking.Try living with someone who didn’t speak your language and didn’t understand your cultural background and wondered why you did things the way you did. It was during those four uncomfortable months with that German who didn’t understand me, when I grew most as a person.
As a teenage boy I got in the habit of always saying the following words in my prayers. “Please help me become a better person.” I remember saying those words over and over without putting much thought into it but when I now look back I have realized that every one of those pleas to God were answered. You see, when we pray for something we often think that God will just zap into us what we are praying for. If one prays for patience, God does not just send down a stork with a box full of patient pills, rather he gives us experiences and opportunities where we as humans must learn the lesson of patience. Sometimes he sends people to teach us these things. Sometimes he gives us trials; however, I have come to find out that although the trails and experiences are usually uncomfortable, I am always a better person for them in the end and in turn I am so much happier! With the plea to become a better person, I have realized that every one of those prayers were answered through a life “changing” experience. While in that foreign land, I can once again remember praying to become a better person. The prayer was answered in a way that I would have never expected. It was a very uncomfortable answer or in other words a very uncomfortable experience/opportunity. Having never had any health problems in my life, God knew that the one thing that would stretch me as a human being would be to give me something that would test my patience, my faith, diligence, and my physical health. I was diagnosed with two very bad knees, and I was forced to leave the land I had grown to love and go receive two very serious knee operations. The doctors said I would be down for four to six months. I remember telling myself that it was time to be uncomfortable and cut that prognosis in half. It was in those three long months that I was completely outside of my box doing all that I could to gain the physical and mental strength to get back to the people I loved and to once again continue my service in their behalf. Never have I had to go through so much pain. Never was my patience so tested. Never in my life have I wanted to quit so many times. But never in my life did I grow more to become a better person than I did in those three uncomfortable months.
I believe that God answers prayers and he does it in a way where we are forced to be stretched or to be uncomfortable. When we are willing to jump outside that personal box of ours, we will grow and we will be so much happier for it. We are on this earth to be happy. We are on this earth to be uncomfortable. I believe in being uncomfortable!