Life Begins At The End Of Your Comfort Zone

People often like security. Now what do I mean by that. People like the fact that they are safe. That no matter where they go, no matter what they do, they can always retreat to the place where they are safe. But now here's a thought....when you live in security, in safety, in the place where you know everything, all the outcomes to every situation, are you living? 

I came across this image when thinking about this and straight away thought what a true statement. "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone"! The more I'm thinking into this, the more it makes sense. When we are living by structure, by what we know, by safety, with a 'get out plan' when things get tough.....we are not living, we're just going with the motion hoping to reach the other side with little damage. But it's in this place, this security, the 'comfort zone', where we begin to ask the question, "what is the point?" And so to my personal testimony. I shared a little of this in a previous blog but now I shall go more in depth. 

I was not brought up in a 'Christian' family. I was, however, brought up in a family that loved me, supported me and had my best interests at heart. I went through what you may call 'normal' challenges as a child. Being accepted at school by others my same age. Being bullied (not to a severe extent) but you know what, words hurt. I got influenced into thinking it was ok to steal the odd candy bar from the local newsagents. That it was ok to swear and use inappropriate and disgusting language in my everyday speech. I did what every kid did. Going through the motions, discovering what life is all about and planning for a future where we all try to 'survive' as long as we can. This is the comfort zone we're all brought up in (just with a slightly different context). 

The real turning point came in my life when I asked the question, "what is the point?" We are born, we live a brief spell on earth, we die, then what!?! For me this didn't make sense. How can we have life in all it's splendour, enjoy precious things such as taste, smell, laughter, the beauty of the sea, sand, country, mountains, have feelings and emotions pouring out, life in all it's wonder.... for it all to end, just like that! It's funny, when you begin to ask theses questions your stomach begins to turn. Mine certainly did. I became fearful of death and the only way I could comfort myself was by saying, "it's ok Thomas, you still have around 70/80 years of life left, that's a long time! Maybe you'll forget about death!" I was shifted out of my comfort zone by my curiosity about life. 

22 Immediately Jesus told his followers to get into the boat and go ahead of him across the lake. He stayed there to send the people home. 23 After he had sent them away, he went by himself up into the hills to pray. It was late, and Jesus was there alone. 24 By this time, the boat was already far away from land. It was being hit by waves, because the wind was blowing against it.
25 Between three and six o’clock in the morning, Jesus came to them, walking on the water. 26 When his followers saw him walking on the water, they were afraid. They said, “It’s a ghost!” and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus quickly spoke to them, “Have courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.”
28 Peter said, “Lord, if it is really you, then command me to come to you on the water.”
29 Jesus said, “Come.”
And Peter left the boat and walked on the water to Jesus. 30 But when Peter saw the wind and the waves, he became afraid and began to sink. He shouted, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught Peter. Jesus said, “Your faith is small. Why did you doubt?”
32 After they got into the boat, the wind became calm. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped Jesus and said, “Truly you are the Son of God!”
 - Matthew 14:22-33 (NCV)

I was taught this recently about stepping out of the boat:-
The boat is our comfort, all that we know, all that we hold onto, our security. But how will we walk on water if we don't get out the boat? Are we willing to take a risk, or are we fearful of the outcome? Everyone close to us, believe it or not, does not believe that we can do things. They want us to achieve it to an extent but if they cannot do it, no one can. - These are powerful statements, but in most cases true statements.

I made my first step out of the boat when I gave my life to Jesus Christ at the age of 15. Since then, instead of sinking, or going back into the boat, I have taken one step at a time, walking on water away from that which was my security. I was baptised at the age of 17, another step. I joined the worship team, another step. I am now a worship leader as well as the worship director of my church, many steps to this point. I've been on 3 overseas missions to serve in different areas of need, 3 big steps. I dropped from full time work to part time and now volunteer at a nearby International Bible Training Institute (this was by far the biggest step for me).

I look back now and for me, I cannot see the boat. When I think about going back to the life I had, I shudder at the thought because there was no life to be had. Life is eternal and there is more to life than you think. I am going to keep on walking step by step on the water. I am not perfect, I do not claim to be, I am far from it, but those days where I slip up and begin to sink, God is right there to lift me back up again.

We have freedom now, because Christ made us free. So stand strong. Do not change and go back into the slavery of the law. 
- Galations 5:1 (NCV)

But we have the true hope that comes from being made right with God, and by the Spirit we wait eagerly for this hope. When we are in Christ Jesus, it is not important if we are circumcised or not. The important thing is faith—the kind of faith that works through love. 
- Galations 5:5-6 (NCV)

Are you in a bubble, or even are beginning to ask the questions that I did when I was younger? Are you willing to step out of your comfort zone and walk on water? There is life to be had, we just need to have faith and be willing to take some risks. So what is the point?

Life Begins At The End Of Your Comfort Zone


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