Being Comfortable with Stability

There’s nothing like the holidays to make me nostalgic! For starters, there’s all the time to think in the car while driving to see family and friends. Then there’s the time catching up, and the questions about what’s new in my world and what my plans are.

And, somewhere between talking about myself and hearing about others, my nostalgia shifts and I get this feeling that I have to know what’s next. That gets especially strong on New Year’s, the day everyone decides to be an enthusiastic planner for the upcoming year.

After all of this reflecting and making plans, it feels like we’re more comfortable being anywhere than here, more comfortable being in any time other than the one right now. We’d rather plan where we should be, or could be, than simply comfortable where we actually are.

Because we’re uncomfortable with stability.

We’re always thinking about what’s next or at least what people expect us to do next. We are so used to asking ourselves, “What’s next?” that we never really appreciate the blessings of right now.

During Christmas vacation, I spoke with an abbess friend of mine (yes, I have abbess friends) about this constant feeling that we have to be on the move. I was reflecting on the fact that monks and nuns take vows of stability; they commit to staying put, to living out their lives in the religious community they joined. While those of us in the world may not be thinking about staying where we are forever, there is wisdom that we can glean from their experience.

So what can we do to be more comfortable with where we are in life, right now?

1. Discover your “field”

Jesus often used farming metaphors when teaching His disciples. One that comes up several times is the image of a vineyard or a field. For us, our vineyard or our field is where God has placed us right now. That may be our Church community, our family, our current job, or our field of study.

Like St Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 6:19, we are not our own: we belong to Christ. And this means that this field isn’t for our glory, it’s been loaned to us as the place where we can work out our salvation. Since our field belongs to Christ, we will have to answer to Him about how we tend it and what fruit our work bears (check out Matthew 21:33-46 and Matthew 25:14-30).

So to be more comfortable where we are now, it might take a change of perspective. Instead of seeing our current situation as temporary, what if we took seriously that “the Kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17)? If we see wherever we are, right now, as the place that God wills us to be today, then there’s important work we can get started on, right now.

And that work takes effort.

2. Give it your all

When we’re serious about something, it’s easier to go “all in,” to fully commit ourselves and give our best effort. But are we “all in” cultivating our field (community, family, job, studies)? Are we giving our day to day lives all the effort they need?

In a monastery, each nun or monk has a specific diakonima (a responsibility or job) that is specifically their own. This job is their everything, their place to shine, their little kingdom where they work out their salvation in their community. Having this assignment teaches the monastic the importance of being committed to something, and that their presence is vital to the community.

The same goes for us, no matter the vineyard God has given us. We should be showing up every day with our “A game,” ready to do whatever needs to get done for that day.

And the effort we put in reflects back on the One Who sent us.

3. Glorify God in your work

No matter the situation in which you find yourself today, God has given you the strength and the talents you need for today. But in order to get anything done where we are, we need to stick around long enough to get to know and love our field. We have to get to know our field so God can show us where to get to work.

If we see our life as our stage, as the piece of art that we are offering back to God, then everything we do will be an opportunity to glorify God. We won’t need to worry about plans for the future or being as accomplished as we want to be, because we’ll see today as the most important day. Tomorrow is an idea in our minds, and can never be as real as today.

It’s easier to find joy when we are working for God’s glory rather than our own. I’ve also found that it’s easier to do this when I focus on God’s will for today, rather than fulfilling all of my plans for my life. This helps pull me away from the idols I set up in my life and helps re-center me on the reality of God in the reality of the present day.

So even if we experience trials in our lives, we can still find joy because we are learning to love the field that God has given us and to see this place as where God has called us to be.


Nearly all of us are behind on our life timeline, in the big plans we’ve set for ourselves. And eight days into the New Year, we’re probably all behind on our New Year’s resolutions too! But this doesn’t mean that we can’t learn to be comfortable and content with staying put and learning to see God at work in our lives today. Stability and consistency are good for us because they offer us an opportunity to discover the field that God has given us, a chance to give it our all every day, and the ability to glorify God in our work each day.

Are you always thinking about where to and what’s next? Give stability a chance and see how God will get to work in your life, today.


Sam is the Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministries at Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Wyckoff, New Jersey. He grew up in Powhatan, Virginia and studied International Affairs and Spanish at James Madison University. Sam received his MDiv from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in 2013. He loves food, languages and good coffee.


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