The Allegorical Tale of a Town Called Comfortable

“Just as God gives comfort to the faithful in their affliction, He will surely afflict the comfort of those unwilling to step beyond it—which probably makes Him an irresistible hero for the called, and the unspoken villain for those who’d rather keep cheering them on from a distance.” —Kevin Adams, The Extravagant Fool

Far away, along the road to purpose, is a town called Comfortable. Hidden perfectly within the mountains, it sits just beyond the river and past the canyon. It’s a beautiful town—quiet, unassuming and kind. Most of those who live there never knew it would be their final destination.

The people of Comfortable were a people who were fueled by their dreams, guided by their hope, and looked to faith as their compass. Their journey had begun with ambition and passion. Excitement ran through their veins. But like any great adventure, there was hardship and struggle. And with the pain of failure and criticism came the slow fade of lost passion.

Through effort, grit and determination, they fought to continue their journey. But as time wore on at its feverish pace, they began to believe that the journey was in vain. The dream they once had was dying on the roadside of pursuit.

Then, they stumbled upon a sign that read:

Comfortable 5 miles ahead

It seemed a welcomed reprieve for their tired, discouraged soul. The road leading in crested the top of the mountain. As they looked around, they couldn’t help but bask in the beauty. The wonder and excitement of the mountaintop gave them a thrill that any weary traveler would welcome.

Just as they reached the peak, a thought entered their mind, “I deserve comfortable.” The road had been hard, but they felt a new sense of accomplishment.

The Arrival

The downhill drive into town was thrilling—the road was steeper than anyone had ever experienced. With the windows rolled down, the rush of the air and the whistling decent created a rollercoaster-like sensation. The outline of the town below made you feel like you had arrived.

Upon arrival you notice that the folks who live there were generally quiet, carrying out their days in a careless way. They weren’t unhappy, but they didn’t seem happy either. There were moments of excitement and joy, but in the end, it all felt very plain. It took them a long time to get there, so I suppose they deserved to rest and enjoy the sleepy little town.

The daily routine was effortless. A morning stop at the coffee shop for a hello followed by mindless work in a job that wasn’t too challenging. Most evenings witnessed a social gathering with not-so-deep conversation washed down with a craft beer or cocktail of choice. Of course people laughed and smiles were commonplace, but as time wore on the streets became crowded with bland passer-byes and everyone was less inclined to speak. The exhilaration of the decent had faded into mundane daily life.

In time, Comfortable became insignificant.

The Choice to Leave

I grew tired of watching joyful faces fade into monotonous stares. And oh how crowded the town had become. Comfortable had doubled in size. Then, it doubled again. One day, in the midst of the hustle, I stopped and turned to watch those around me continue their daily grind. I missed the adventure, the journey, the climb. In that moment, I made a decision. It was time to leave Comfortable.

As I began my ascent, I noticed that the road was steeper than I remembered. So step in fact that my car was unable to reach the peak. The fantastic downhill journey in to Comfortable had become and uphill road that made it impossible to leave. I tried another route. The same fate awaited me. After traveling nearly every road in town, I realized that I couldn’t make it out. Comfortable was a prison.

I hurriedly began asking other townsfolk to see if anyone knew of a way out, but everyone avoided the conversation.

“Took us a long time to get here. Might as well enjoy it,” one man said.

“Could be a lot worse you know. You should be thankful,” another remarked.

“You want to leave?” Some would question.

Everyone was stuck in this town called Comfortable.

Reflections

I can’t explain the contents of this story to you in any other way than to say it was a vision that was given to me nearly four years ago. And while I will leave the interpretation up to each individual reader, I wanted to make a few remarks as they relate to my own perspective.

Each and every individual who will take the time to read the contents of this article is nothing short of amazing. You were created on purpose with a distinct purpose to impact the world for greatness. Significance was grafted into your DNA. But somewhere along the way, you have settled for comfortable.

The more I live, the more I’m learning that comfortable is a curse. Like a picturesque paradise, it lures us in promising security and bliss. Comfortable is intoxicating. It leaves us drunk and robs us of meaning. But the funny thing is, anyone who claims to be comfortable won’t tell you the truth. It’s an unreachable destination—a mythical place that only exists in our traitorous mind.

While Comfortable may seem inviting, it’s hopeless. I’ve been there in my own life and I will never return. I know all the reasons why we get stuck in Comfortable, but those reasons aren’t rooted in Truth. It’s time that we get honest about our motives—and Comfortable should never be one of them.

But on the other hand, Peace is a real place. You see, Peace is what we really want. We just settle for Comfortable. So today, I want to be the guy that climbs his way out of Comfortable. And I know that it may be an uphill battle, so I’m eager for companions along the way.

Should you be up for a climb, Peace is waiting.

MH

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  • How did you know Matt? Have you been watching me? A very unique and uncomfortable journey to comfortable. I expect I will be leaving town next year as my company has announced an IPO so you never know exactly how that is going to play out until it does.

    Thanks for making me uncomfortable.

    • Stan! Keep climbing that mountain man!

  • Good stuff – really enjoyed the imagery you placed inside the post!

    • Thanks David – I appreciate the read and the feedback!

  • Pingback: Are You Too Old? | Matt Ham()

  • Curiouser Editing

    Wow! Is it an allegory? It definitely reads like one. This would be a very interesting read.

  • Love it. I’ll add two thoughts that came to my mind if you’re going to expand it into a novel – (1) perhaps that once you’re in Comfortable the mountaintops surrounding the town are shrouded in a constant cloud (which you didn’t notice on your way into town) – One can lose sight of the heavens or not even bother to look up after awhile and (2) you could grow some great characters in Comfortable. A group of friends that seem to think the way you do and when you finally make your way out, one or more of them that you have gotten us to love back out (so our hearts break for them) and several come with you – supporters – cheerers (like us!) Because you can pretty much do anything with a team. Go write it Matt – it’ll be great.

    • JMA Web Consulting

      Thanks for that input, Felecia! I’ll have to do some developing 🙂