I am an apprentice in the School of Jesus. Jesus has taught me this: Without leaving my comfort zone, it is impossible to please Him. (Hebrew 11:6)
The last thing I wanted to be was a public speaker. My comfort zone includes staying in the background. Unfortunately, there were things in school that required me to be in the foreground.
In elementary school there was something called “Show and Tell.” A student would bring something to show to the class. Then, they would share about it. I feared Show and Tell!
One school day I told my mother, “I’m feeling sick. I think I should stay home from school today.” She responded with a question: “Do you have Show and Tell today?”
When I was in Cub Scouts, we were putting together a “TV show” for our parents. We made a large cardboard TV set, with a hole for the screen. Each kid was supposed to position his face in the opening and deliver some lines, like it would look on TV.
I had a diminished role in this production. I was to tell two jokes. I am horrible at this! To this day, no one has ever requested that I tell them a joke. I was probably eight years old. We were in someone’s basement. The TV was set up. Parents were sitting in folding chairs, in theater rows.
I was nervous.
When the dreaded moment came, I got in the box, and looked out at my parents. I felt sorry they would have to witness what was about to happen.
I started telling the first joke. I made no eye contact with the audience. Then, I forgot the punch line. I just stopped talking. And that was it. I said no more. I exited the cardboard box.
Is it possible to die of embarrassment? I was a fish out of water, a square peg in a round hole, a stranger in a strange land. Out of my comfort zone.
I told myself I would never do this again! And then, I met Jesus. I became his follower. I learned that, when you are following Jesus, you are, by definition, out of your comfort zone.
Just being out of your comfort zone does not mean you are following Jesus. But follow Jesus, and you will be out of your comfort zone.
Every time I follow Jesus, I am moving outside my comfort zone.
For his disciples, this is the normal Christian life.
Linda and I took a day off this past Monday. When Monday came to end, we counted six things that God called us to do, that day, which were out of our comfort zones. Linda observed, “That’s just one day out of our life!”
Jesus has taught me that this is life in His kingdom. Every time I share my story with someone, minister to people, pray for their healing and deliverance, give sacrificially, and love unconditionally, I enter a different world.
I still get nervous when I speak publicly, which is a lot. I am so thankful Jesus calls me out of my comfort zone and into His redemptive kingdom!
Without stepping out of your comfort zone it is impossible to please God.
When Jesus calls, I follow.
Jesus is always leading me out of my comfort zone.
My life is pleasing to Jesus, because I am a person of faith.
Like Jesus, my life is not about staying in some "comfort zone."
I am comfortable with the idea of being uncomfortable for Christ.
My life of faith is a day-by-day adventure!
(From my book 31 Letters to the Church on Discipleship.)