By Tom Bender
I have one piece of artwork on my office wall: the quote, “Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone.” I look at this framed quote every day and wonder how I can do my job better. I am reminded about how my life, my job, my family, and my faith has benefited from going to the edge, even beyond the edge of my comfort zone.
Why does this quote resonate with me in such a profound way? Perhaps, it is my fascination with the study of history. Significant events in history were preceded by men, women, and even children leaving their comfort zone. Think about the founders of this great nation. The scientists and inventors that spawned the industrial revolution, and those who continue to propel technology and medicine. The civil rights movement was led by courageous men and women who were unafraid of the perils that lay ahead. Nothing inspires me more than the thought of young soldiers storming the beaches of Normandy … to me, that is the epitome of leaving your comfort zone.
I also believe this quote is a Biblical principle. In a recent sermon, Pastor Doug talked about how God wants us to leave our comfort zone, both individually and as a church. Throughout the Bible, we see God’s people leaving their comfort zone, in obedience, to do great things. Moses was reluctant, and lacked confidence, yet led God’s people out of Egypt. David, a shepherd boy slayed a giant and became king. Esther was a young woman in her twenties, who interceded on behalf of her people, with little regard for her own safety, “… and thus I will go to the king ... and if I perish, I perish.” (Esther 4:16). I think about the disciples, when Jesus ascended into heaven. “Then they worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.” (Luke 24:52), but they didn’t stay there, in their comfort zone. They went into all the world to preach the Gospel, just as Jesus commanded them. They knew the risks, and certain persecution that awaited them.
It is called a “comfort zone” for a reason. Change makes us anxious. Not knowing the future frustrates us. Where would I be; where would our church be today, if it weren’t for those who ventured outside of their comfort zone? Let us be unbound, and allow God to use us, outside of our comfort zone. Through obedience and prayer, to God be the glory.