I was scrolling through Instagram probably for the thousandth time today. My thumb has become conditioned to quickly swiping up with a quick tap, that I almost missed something amazing. “Great things never come from comfort zones” my friend posted. The soft pink graphic post with calligraphy gray writing looked like a print I should order off of Etsy and frame on my wall. The graphic was subtle but it may as well have been a lion roaring in the road:
“GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE, Kristy!”
There it was in gray and pink --- the answer to my recent anxiousness. Opportunity was knocking but the comfort of routine had become more attractive than what was fresh, new, and life-giving. Something was wrong. Since when did muddy waters prove appealing over crystal clear water? Do not let your comfort zone trick you out of what is good for you.
Is there a potential promotion? Maybe you have desired taking a class, or working out. Has there been a desire to volunteer, but having to do research and meet new people seems like too much work? Maybe you see the potential for a new relationship, but fear and reminders of the past keep you stuck in neutral calling it comfort. I love a Netflix and a (lactose free) ice cream day --- that’s comfortable. But my body, soul, and mind appreciate when I switch out the Netflix for a good book or a power walk at the beach. Sometimes the effort is just getting past my thoughts and hang-ups.
About seven years ago I was the young adult pastor at my church. I took a group of college-aged students 13 hours north of home, deep into the mountains, to what looked like a scene out of “Legends of the Fall”. I was far from home and out of my comfort zone. During that time I had been struggling with a diagnosis of myelopathy and undergoing further tests to rule out Multiple Sclerosis. I was committed to this trip, but my sorrows, couch, pajamas, and a large pepperoni pizza were calling me. I wanted to be anywhere other than on this trip spiritually leading students. My spiritual health was languishing over the weight of the diagnosis. My body was acting in ways that I had no control over. Nevertheless, I persisted.
The beauty I witnessed on that trip I will never forget for the rest of my life. The beauty of nature spoke of God in a way that made my soul come alive. I climbed, leapt, and swam further than I ever had before. I was pushed outside of my comfort zone and God met me in the wilderness. I never knew I could jump off the side of a mountain and not only survive but love it! I rafted and flipped into a roaring rapid. In each moment God met me.
Now, I am not suggesting you jump off the side of a cliff into a river. But I am praying that if you are lost, unsure, or feeling afraid that you will step out of your comfort zone into the areas Jesus is calling. Maybe it’s going back to church, or trying church for the first time! Maybe it’s taking that dance class you keep talking about but never sign up for. Maybe it is starting a blog, or seeking out a mentor. Whatever that MOMENTUM CATALYST is for you….SHAKE things up so you can SHINE!
We have to wake up friends. This is a GOOD time to be ALIVE.
Social media makes it so easy to compare our lives to others. Leaving us feeling insecure. Instead, give your thumbs a rest and take the first action step toward that thing you KNOW will make you feel alive. Shake off that comfort. Soon the comfort might turn into chains, if you are not careful.
Shake so you can SHINE!