Change Beats Out Comfortable…Every Time


Dear Reader:

Ever since I retired and got off the tread mill of meetings and deadlines…I have grown quite comfortable in a leisurely-paced day. In fact I have probably grown too comfortable.

I keep reassuring myself I deserve a slower-paced life after the hectic life I lived while the children were growing up. A time when I was teaching week-days, moonlighting weekends, and going back to school to get my graduate degree. When I look back now I honestly don’t know how I did it. (Yes I do…God did it.)

An epiphany that has come from this relatively new stage in my life is that change happens…even if we don’t. All we have to do is look in the mirror for that confirmation. I always thought if I had more time to rest and a slower pace in life…I would be healthier and have more time to ‘perk’ myself up into looking better.

Wish that were true…but my mirror doesn’t lie…aging is taking place and some days, I must admit, not very gracefully at all.

I have also come to the conclusion that there is a thin line between comfortable and stagnant.  If I want to continue giving back then I must leave comfortable behind and re-enter the world of change.

Don’t we always feel better when we get back ‘in the groove?’ Anne was telling me a few weeks ago that she does better when she has a schedule for the week and pretty much sticks with it. Too much “free” time can leave all of us feeling isolated from society and just kind of “out of it.”

In my “free” time, lately, I have been searching for signs of life in my garden and and I don’t have to look far or long. I have done absolutely nothing in the garden the past couple of months except pick up pine cones and sticks…yet the changes are happening anyway…initially hidden from sight…until suddenly bursting through the ground.








Lillian Daniel wrote a daily devotional called “Comfortable in my Seat” which extends this discussion on comfortable vs. change.

When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor…” – Luke 14:8

At a recent Interfaith Worker Justice board meeting, a story was shared about a scene the presenter witnessed on an airplane. A mother was traveling with three small children but for some reason, none of them were seated together. So the mother asked other passengers if they would move so she could stay close to her little ones.

Everyone agreed to move, except for one woman who seemed able to move, but was just unwilling. By way of explanation she added her reason: “You see, I’m comfortable in my seat.”

The story caused all of us to stop and imagine that awkward scene in silence. To me, the point was painfully clear. Sometimes we don’t do the right thing for the most mundane of reasons. We’re comfortable in our seats.

That woman who was so comfortable in her seat may not have been as comfortable later on in the flight. I imagine her seated next to a toddler, crying for his mother, loudly, interrupting her movie. Or maybe the kid was rejoicing in his new found freedom, far from parental supervision, giddily tipping his soda into the woman’s lap. How comfortable was her seat then?

We don’t want to move because we don’t feel the pain. Why give up a comfy seat for one that could possibly be worse? Why change things? Why shake things up?

But here’s the thing. Change happens anyway. God seems to like it that way.


Isn’t that last statement so true? No matter how hard we try to keep the status quo God has other plans for us and they definitely involve change. Life is change and nothing is going to change that…so we can either get on board or become stagnant in our surroundings and life.

God wants us “out there” doing His work…emulating His message and doing it with a smile on our faces.

So until tomorrow: *Jesus, thank you for giving up your comfortable seat in heaven to join us here on earth, and for revealing God’s ever-flexible seating arrangements. Amen. 

*Lillian Daniel

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh



About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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