COLUMN: Stepping outPublished 7:00pm Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Last Sunday at church we were challenged to step out of our comfort zone and seek a closer relationship with God in 2013. While many have an idea about what a “comfort zone” is, the definition from Wikipedia is: “a state within which a person operates in a relatively anxiety-free condition.”
A person will use a certain set of behaviors trying to stay on a steady course without feeling a sense of risk. Sounds like a pretty good idea, keep a steady pace and don’t veer off course. But without moving away from this comfort zone one might miss so many other opportunities that present themselves during the course of a lifetime.
Without stepping out, forward, or to the side you actually run the risk of missing a chance of a lifetime event. I bet David really felt like he was stepping out of his comfort zone when he went up against Goliath. Being thrown into a lion’s den or the belly of a whale would probably make one pretty anxious also. Being the first surgeon to do open-heart surgery, the first steps on the moon, the first firemen who entered the south tower of the World Trade Center were definitely not a risk-free time for those folks.
Unfortunately, adding to our wanting to stay in our comfort zone is listening to what others may think or say about us. Many times we worry that our family or friends may think we are doing something odd or that we have lost our mind. This makes our wanting to step out an even more difficult task.
The lyrics to one of my favorite contemporary Christian songs from Casting Crowns use the following words
Oh what I would do to have
The kind of faith it takes to climb out of this boat I’m in
Onto the crashing waves
To step out of my comfort zone
To the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He’s holding out His hand
These words make it so much easier to move out, to have a better relationship with God, our family, friends, co-workers, and just the folks we come in contact with on a regular basis.
Getting involved in an activity that helps others, joining a small group, stopping long enough to help a stranger in need, answering the call to share the love of Christ, takes moving out of our zone. Moving out may have its risks, but the end result will have a great pay-off.
Randy Garrison is the president and publisher of the Hartselle Enquirer.