Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My Comfort Zone

“God, I know you’d really like it if I sung that song I heard the other day for our church. But God, you know singing in public isn’t my thing – it’s out of my comfort zone.”

“I know those people who live on the corner need to find a church, but I can’t go door-to-door inviting people I’ve never met! God, I’m just not comfortable talking to strangers about you.”

“Thank you God for those 2 weeks off! Sure, I could help out with the VBS, but God, you know I don’t have any patience with kids – they make me downright uncomfortable!”

“Wow! God! I sure want to raise my hands in praise when I hear that song. It just blesses my heart! I wish I could raise my hands and just enjoy this time with you, but what would everyone think? I’m just not comfortable doing something like that.”

“God, that family sure needs some help, but I don’t think I could offer. I’m not close to them or anything. How would they react? What if they thought of me in the wrong way? It’s just not something I’m comfortable with.”

“God, I’d sure like to see the Easter production at that church, but it’s not the same denomination as my church. What if they started going overboard – you know – getting rowdy. I’m just not comfortable with that.”

“Please God, send someone to talk to my co-worker about becoming a Christian. He’s so lost, and really looking for an answer. And God, I’d do it myself, but you know I’m not comfortable talking to others about my relationship with you. You understand, right?”

“Oh God, forgive me. I know I should be in that altar praying with her, but God, I wouldn’t be comfortable going to the altar. Surely someone else will go and give her a loving hug. Too many people around! I just can’t.”

“Sure the people of Kenya need to hear about your saving Grace God! I’ll help in any way I can, but I just can’t go and spend a week in Kenya sleeping on a mat on the dirt floor and missing showers. Especially in that heat! Whew! You know I need my daily shower! I’m not the same without it.”

I’ve often wondered what would happen if one Sunday morning my pastor would say, “Everyone sitting on the left to move to the right, and on the right – move to the left. If you’re in the back – go to the front, and if you’re sitting in the front – sit in the back”. Why, it would be total chaos and confusion! Most of us would spend the whole hour wondering what was next, and trying to get comfortable! We are all animals of habit, and once our habits are set, we get so comfortable that even the smallest change just throws us out of balance, and we’re pushed outside our Comfort Zone.

Comfort Zone. I’ve heard those two words at least 10 times lately in Christian messages. God’s really trying to speak to me about this, and show me how captive my comfort zone can be. Maybe God isn’t concerned with my being comfortable in his work. Maybe if I’m comfortable, it’s time for me to step outside that zone, and see how God will bless me. After all, the cross wasn’t comfortable for Jesus, yet He told us to take up our cross and follow him.

Have you ever considered how captive your comfort zone can hold you? Can you relate to any of the examples above? I do. I know I limit God’s work (and my blessings) by holding back my praises, keeping His message to myself, not giving up the “comforts” He’s given, and fearing what people think of me more than what God thinks. God, help me to change! I’d love to become SO undignified – as David did when he danced before God in praise! How wonderful it would be if we all stopped caring what each other thinks, and only care what God thinks about us! Who are we worshipping anyway?

I think about when Jesus got the disciples into the boat and took them out to sea.
When the waves got rough, they got scared. They were DEFINITELY out of their comfort zones. But if they’d never gotten into the boat, would they have learned that Jesus was able to save them from the storm? I wonder what we’re missing by staying on dry land – staying comfortable?

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