Shower Time – Is Comfort Really The Right Target?


I’m nearly six feet six inches tall.

I kind of stick out in Guatemala.

I’ve learned that many things in Guatemala are not made for someone of my height.  For example, last year, I slept on a bed that was 18 inches too short for me.  When I sit in the passenger seat of many Guatemalan cars and trucks, I literally have my knees in my chin.  And some of the bathroom facilities don’t actually fit my frame either.

This is the shower we used this year in Guatemala.  It is essentially a concrete box, and it is six feet tall from the floor to the ceiling.  There is just enough room in this little compartment to turn around.  The pipe at the top of the shower is connected to a shower head better known as the widow maker.  The shower head is wired to power which sometimes gives you a hot shower.  The key word is sometimes.  Most of the time you get a rather cold shower.

To save water and to avoid prolonged exposure to the cold water, I took military style showers while we were in Guatemala.  This means I would turn the water on and get wet.  Then I’d turn the water off and soap up.  Finally, I would turn the water back on and rinse off as quickly as possible.

It wasn’t ideal, and it wasn’t all that comfortable, but I actually didn’t mind it so much as the week went along.

Being in the mission field isn’t about comfort.

You get dirty.  You sleep in unfamiliar conditions with strange sounds.  You drive on bumpy roads.  You eat foreign food.  Even going to the bathroom and taking a shower is a weird experience.

We live in a world and culture where comfort is king.

There is something healthy about being uncomfortable.  The mission field teaches missionaries about sacrifice – it teaches that it just might be worth getting uncomfortable for something far more valuable.

Our trip to Guatemala reminded us that there is more to life than the pursuit of comfort.

I would challenge you to step outside of your comfort zone – to stretch yourself – by planning to go on a missions trip in the next year.

What have you learned by stepping into the uncomfortable?  When was the last time you were really uncomfortable?