If we stop to think about it, most of us have shaped our lives in ways to give us a reasonable amount of time to spend in our “comfort zones.” After all, none of us really like rocking the boat. We like to keep turbulence at a minimum and that seems like what we should want…at least on the surface.
Sitting in countless meetings in various corporations, strategizing new directions and looking for possibilities, something would be suggested that seemed brilliant, but most often at least one person would comment, “I’m not sure about that. That idea takes me out of my comfort zone.”
Personally, I think we should aspire to be “out” of our comfort zones as much as possible. No doubt, there’s nothing like crawling under a big cozy comforter and keeping the world away, in fact, sometimes that’s exactly the right place to be. But if you find yourself wrapped up in big blankets, or numbing your brain through a Knight Rider marathon, it might be time to hope for a little turbulence. Sometimes we need to be shaken up a bit to get the adrenalin flowing and get more oxygen to our creative brain cells.
If you’re thinking that you’ve forgotten what it’s like to be in a comfort zone, I sympathize. Right after that though, I’m going to start applauding you because I’m thinking that means there’s something powerfully good ahead of you. My experience often has been that God seems to keep me slightly uncomfortable until I actually discover what it is He wants me to do next. I’m not suggesting He doesn’t let me get comfortable, because He does, at least for a time and then before I know it, I feel those breezes coming across my face and I just know He’s stirring up something. If I don’t answer right away, He’ll keep shaking things up and usually He does it in such a way, that I know it couldn’t have really happened without His hand. Thankfully, I don’t usually have to get to the place where I’m holding on for dear life to try to understand what He wants. I’ve learned to recognize when the weather is changing.
I will say there’s always a comfort zone though. It’s that place you can go to in prayer and meditation. It’s those moments when you step out of the boat and keeping your eyes on Jesus, start to walk in His direction. It’s an incredible moment because you’re suddenly embracing reality like you never have before. You’re there, He’s there and all is well. In Philippians 4, it reminds us of this. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.”
That peace is the comfort zone. It seems no matter how much we hide under a blanket, bury ourselves in work, tune out with mind-numbing TV, or try to run so that disappointment won’t catch us, we can’t really get there.
Whatever you’re doing today, see if you can cross that barrier, the one you’ve bought into as some kind of truth for you and see if there’s any way to stretch it or weave it in a new way or bend it around. If the winds of change are blowing, don’t try to stop them, embrace them, lift your arms and thank God for them because it means He still has great work for you to do and He isn’t going to leave you where He found you. He’s going to shake you and stir your heart and build you up so that you become all He meant you to become. He’ll take you to a whole new comfort zone.
Okay, so I’m feeling those breezes in my own life today. I can only be grateful that God’s Spirit flows so well through each of us and that His hand holds us close and tight. Okay, Lord…where are we going from here?