Safety bubbles

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We can find relief and safety in certain bubbles in life. In theory, we could live our whole lives in these comfortable areas. Or we could venture out into the more challenging parts of the world. We can return to our bubbles to recover and find comfort or support. But should you always stay in your bubble? Should you only surround yourself with likeminded people, in an environment free of confrontation?

I went on a 5 day camp last week. I was surrounded mostly by Christians, far away from problems. It was a lovely bubble. I was safe, with my friends, during uni break with no looming assignments. I had good food and shelter from the scary world. I had deep and insightful conversations and made lots of new friends with people I may otherwise not have. But it was bittersweet. Partly because I knew it would come to an end, but also because I missed the outside. I didn’t read any news or go on Instagram for the time I was away. I missed my friends who weren’t with me and I missed my family. I missed being able to type up my ideas. I missed my flute and music that I love. I even missed my challenges and problems a bit. I had resigned myself not to use my phone to talk to anyone who wasn’t at camp, but when I could see messages coming in it wasn’t easy. I did decide to break and message my friend one evening. Needless to say, I hungered for things outside this safe bubble, and I knew that even if I could stay forever, I wouldn’t want to. There as good things outside of bubbles, things worth venturing out for. We could exist in our bubbles for as long as we like, but would you call that living? I don’t think it would be enough for me. I am not satisfied by mere survival – I always want more.

As I wrote that last thought, a funny thing happened. You see, when I started writing this I was totally against staying in my bubble forever. I was convinced I would miss out on so many good things in my life. But as I wrote about how I wanted more than the bare necessities, I had to wonder why. I remembered one of the talks I heard on the first day of camp about worship and sacrifice. Sacrifice means you are giving up something valuable. I flicked through my Bible and the overwhelming message was that God provides everything we need including comfort. So why do I desire so many things besides God? There is a gaping void within me that I try desperately to fill with friends, fun, grades, family, charity, relationships and happiness… when the only thing that can fill it completely is God. The thing is, God leaves little room because he does fill all my needs. Suddenly I can’t have all of those other things – it doesn’t all fit. God demands sacrifice. But more importantly, He deserves it. So I am happy to give up some of my worldly comforts in favour of God’s. Of course friends and family and generosity are good, but they can’t give us the satisfaction that God can.

I have everything I need in my bubble. I could live alone in that safety forever. But in our faith, we are called to bring others into that bubble; to share the good news. That cannot be done from inside the bubble. If I only spend time with like-minded Christians, I will not show anyone God. The bubble is safe… if you’re inside it. But what about everyone who isn’t? That is why I must leave the bubble, and why I now desire to do so. When you know something so great as the hope we have in Christ, you can’t help but want to share it. C.S. Lewis captures this expertly. He reminds us that if you think of a hilarious joke, it is no fun unless you have someone to share it with. If you find a great author but have no-one to recommend it to, there is a sense of loss. Praising and sharing the things we enjoy adds to the experience. It gives us joy to worship our God and sing his praises, because he is worthy. We naturally want to share good news, if someone developed a cure for a disease they wouldn’t keep it to themselves! They would it with the world so everyone could reap the benefits. How much greater is our desire to share the gospel, because it offers an eternal message of hope.

This extends to things even beyond faith. I get so excited about sharing skills and knowledge with people that have different interests. Things like going camping with city kids or having discussions about psychology and morals with people who may not have thought about it before. It’s one of the many joys that comes with being a leader of youth; getting to see and be a part of young kids learning about their world in so many different ways. So I will keep leaving my comfort bubble even as it expands, because there are great things inside and out that shouldn’t be kept apart.

Stay safe,

Keyboardphilosopher

One thought on “Safety bubbles

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