This year I am on a journey that may end in the taking of a vow. The only vow most of us take happens after we’ve walked down the aisle and promised to love ‘in sickness and in health’, but last year I began to explore joining the Order of the Mustard Seed. OMS members take a threefold vow that may be familiar to you if you’ve ever listened to the Lectio 365 app. The vow is to be true to Christ, to be kind to others and to share the Gospel with those around us.

These are simple enough and something every follower of Christ is called to (see Matthew 22:37-39 and Matthew 28:19). But just because they’re simple, doesn’t mean they’re easy.

The more I study and reflect on these vows, the more I realise how impossible they are to do in my own strength. Most days I would prefer to be true to myself, to be kind only to the people I really love and to make my faith something between me and God alone. In other words, I want to do life on my terms and stay safely within my comfort zone.

Yet when was God ever interested in keeping us in a comfortable status quo? Countless people in the Bible were called out of comfort into the unknown. Abraham, securely settled in Ur. Moses, happily tending sheep in the wilderness. Esther, living the royal high life in Persia. Mary, set for the uncomplicated life of a carpenter’s wife. Peter, sun-and-water-drenched, fishing on the Lake of Galilee. Up and coming Paul, climbing the ladder of the religious elite.

God encountered each of them and called them into discomfort and even, danger.


Because God had a much better—much bigger—plan for their lives.

Abraham would become the father of a nation. Moses would lead that same nation out of slavery and Esther would save it from extermination. Mary would be the mother of Jesus, the Saviour of the world. Peter would become his follower, a fisher of men, and Paul would spread the news of Jesus’ salvation to the Gentiles.

Every one of them had to choose courage over comfort in order to step into lives that were God-directed, purposeful and—best of all—saturated with his presence.

Vows are serious, promises not to be entered into lightly. There’s a part of me that is rather afraid to make promises to God. I know I’m going to fail just as I often fail to love Roy as I should. Yet I also know that God wants so much more for me—and you—than a selfish, safe existence.

Just like the heroes of our faith, he calls us to leave our settled places, to confront injustice and speak truth to power. He invites us into deep water where all we have to lean on is him. He draws us away from prestige and success and the empty, soul-destroying promises of the world.

Like Mary our ‘yes’ is sure to cost us but here’s the thing—I’m tired of saying no to Jesus.

I am starting to say yes, maybe not quite as often as I should, but we’re working on it, Jesus and me. And every day I remind myself to choose courage over comfort while I follow him as closely as I can.