Last night during our small group discussion, we began to unravel a bit of Mary’s story- from the angel appearing to tell her of what would be before her to her response of ‘let it be’. During this time, these two words, comfort and courage, floated to the surface of our conversation and it has since got me thinking… I’d like to be courageous ( well who doesn’t really?) …. but then again I’d like to be comfortable too. The question then begins to arise, however… can these two actually exist side by side together? Is it possible to be both comfortable and courageous at the same time? I’m not so sure. I’ve touched a bit on this subject before of stepping outside of the comfort zone in some of my previous posts, including that of A Walk on the Wild Side. But I just wanted to write out some of the quotes from last night that went along with this story and discussion.
Courage always demands an element of leaving and leaving is hard.
I guess leaving can mean a lot of things to us. It can mean leaving a place to live somewhere else. It can be leaving a relationship that isn’t so healthy. It can be leaving old and negative habits or traits behind us too. Perhaps, it is leaving the warmth of my comfort zone and into the scary unknown. Maybe it is leaving behind my calculations and stepping out into a living faith that says ‘God’s actually got this!’. And as it says at the end of the sentence, its not easy or simple , it can actually be quite hard.
Moving from comfort to courage will cause you to question your decision. It will cause you to look around for the safety bars, seatbelt and any kind of security button.
Sometimes doing something that takes great courage is a bit like going for a walk in the dark. The path can’t be seen. I don’t know what is around me or before me. It is difficult to walk confidently, but yet I am trying to remind myself that the little steps are still steps too. I may put out my hands for protection from things getting in my way. I may fumble and even seek the solace of something that I can depend on in this situation. But how much more better to be walking in the dark from what was the inside of a cabin, to reach the end of that path and look up, beholding the stars and heavens above you. I’d like to think that I would be more satisfied and content (even if I am terrified!) under those stars, than staying in the comfort under the roof of that cabin I’ve made. If we are going to seek for a safety net, let it be Christ. If we are going to have questions about our direction, let it be Christ. And if we are going to have anyone who we can trust to walk with us in the dark, let it be Christ.
Moving from comfort to courage will cause you to feel weak in the knees- a good indicator that you should stop standing up and get on your knees.
Perhaps you can think of something right now, tugging at your heart and residing in your mind. A little ( or maybe even a loud) call to be courageous and leave that comfort zone. I think at some stage or another, we all have that! I can think of one or two now myself- it just sits back there and then when I hear things such as this, my ears perk up and my heart beats faster and I begin to wonder, does God want me to leave the comfortable and take courage for something bigger? Does God want me to leave behind my calculations or imaginings and just walk in the dark for a bit? No source of light that I have provided, but only that of whichHe provides? What is the thing that you are thinking of? Will it be hard? Yes, perhaps more than we have imagined. That is why we must be relying on God’s strength alone, from that first step and for the rest of the journey. To ever be able to do any of these things mentioned above, prayer must be an essential part of what we take with us on that walk. We might even have to stop at times and get on our knees. And even if we feel like we are not moving, like we are not courageous at all, we are simply resting in the direction that continues to call us out of the comfortable. Change won’t happen in the comfortable Growth won’t occur there either. Will I be content here too? I really don’t think so.
Let us leave behind what is keeping us back. Let us look forward to the One who calls us to greater. Let us get on our knees and seek Him alone.
Last month, my two friends and I took part in an adventure race….I think we were definitely rafting, hiking and biking out of our comfort zones!!
( Quotes from Jeanne Stevens, Twelve Women of the Bible)