Photo by Curtis Thornton on Unsplash
“A ship in a harbor is safe, but that’s not what a ship is built for.” John Augustus Shedd
“It’s when you begin to think about going to your dream that your dream is always outside of your comfort zone. It’s always beyond what you’ve ever done.” Bruce Wilkinson
The second chair was comfortable for me. That’s not a comment on the literal comfort of cloth, cushions, or capacity. I filled the second chair as an assistant pastor in three different churches. The role suited me well. The “buck” didn’t stop with me. That was a comfortable context.
The context lasted fourteen years. Then I felt the “tap.”
Have you felt a tap on the shoulder or a nudge to move out of your comfort zone? The move may only lead you down the hall, or to a new set of responsibilities or a change of location but the feelings from being outside your zone are enormous. It’s stimulating, stretching, scary, strange, and anything but stale.
Are you being nudged to change your style? Maybe it’s to up your game from articles to a book. Or move from novels to non-fiction? Or to change your career or finally follow your dream.
Stepping out of your comfort zone is scary but it doesn’t take courage. Do it scared. Courage is what you find after you step out. What it takes, especially for those who trust that God can order your steps, is a calling. A calling is what gets you through the inevitable setbacks, difficulties, and challenges that await just outside your comfort zone.
A comfort zone is a beautiful place – but nothing ever grows there. The move you’re scared to take is the move you need to make.
In 1994 everything changed when our senior pastor went on permanent disability. Months earlier he cut back to part-time hours because of health reasons. Now, he wasn’t just stepping back he was stepping out. The Board of our church asked if I would step up. Yes, was a response to God’s calling. I felt the tap to leave my comfort zone.
The next twenty-five years were anything but comfortable and everything extraordinary.
Extraordinary is what you get when you leave your comfort zone and follow your calling. You may muse, “But who am I to be extraordinary?”
Marianne Williamson answers,
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be?"
Are you ready for God to bring opportunities your way? Doing so requires you to leave what is comfortable. The journey may be scary, you'll feel out of control, and you will be required to get going without knowing exactly where you're headed. This is how you achieve kingdom purposes.
You'll get to try new things and meet wonderful people, like Spider Mabel. She was 8 years old when she came to a book signing. If you receive nothing else from this post, watch Spider Mabel's video trailer to see a girl who stepped out of her comfort zone and saved a city.
Saying “Cherrio” to your comfort zone is the first step to getting comfortable with who you are meant to be.
What happened when you stepped out of your comfort zone?