I really don't like stretching. It hurts, it's time consuming. I just want to get to my workout. But stretching is a key part of working out. When you don't stretch, muscles think they don't need to be as long as they once were so they shorten up. You lose function that you used to have. You'll even have increased pain.
I just ended a couple of months in physical therapy. At the start of every session they do stretches on me. Then they have me do more stretching exercises. And after that's all done, then I can start the exercises that will strengthen and repair the muscles. I am always tempted at home to just do the exercises and skip the stretching.
It occurred to me the other day that I have the same attitude in my spiritual life. I like my routines. I don't like change. I don't really like to be stretched out of my comfort zone. But when I look back over my life I see that every time God has stretched me in a direction I didn't really think I wanted to go in, great growth has happened. Sometimes the stretching was as simple as developing the discipline to read my bible daily. Sometimes it was harder like joining a small group where I didn't know anyone or moving from Washington state to California.
So what's my point? I still don't like stretching--either physically or spiritually. But I will willingly do it for the benefit it brings.