My youngest daughter graduated from college last Saturday. The ceremonies were outside in Indiana and mother nature cooperated by giving us a glorious sun-drenched day. As soon as Pomp and Circumstance began, however, tears fell.
One in a sea of black robes, my daughter was in that procession–somewhere. Later, in the smaller ceremony for the College of Business, we spied her coming down an aisle. I raced down the row of chairs to video this once-in-a-lifetime moment. She waved. She beamed. I rejoiced I had it recorded. But when I played it back, I saw my purse, several white folding chairs, the green grass, then the screen went black.
Not very successful in recording the moment, I gave my fullest attention to the speaker for his advice on success. I know he was addressing the graduates, but this mom eavesdropped and took away a nugget of advice: Do the thing that makes you uncomfortable.
This former marketing major was constantly challenged in his career to do something out of his comfort zone. Instead of letting it hold him back, he thrived. (He’s now an Executive Vice President at Phillips 66.)
As a follower of Jesus, the uncomfortable thing for us is walking in faith. For most of us it’s not jumping out of airplanes or fixing a meal for the judges of Chopped. It’s not anything illegal or immoral. Rather, it’s doing the thing God wants us to do but is out of our comfort zone.
- This is safe.
- I’m staying put.
- Let’s not rock the boat.
- I don’t know what’s next, but I’m going ahead anyway.
- I could never do that, but I know someone who has.
- I need help!
In the context of faith, uncomfortable is something that you could not do or would not do in your own strength but need divine intervention to complete it.
It might be going to the person who wronged you and saying “I forgive you.” Maybe you wronged someone and need to say, “I messed up. Will you forgive me?” Is there an unloving, joy-stealing rascal in your life that God is calling you to love? Maybe you are being led to listen to and love someone who is different than you. Or maybe God is sending you across the world to another country and culture.
My family likes to say we live in the Brentwood bubble. We laugh, but there is some truth to it. For the most part, people look like me, think like me, and vote like me. I don’t have very many people in my life who look differently, think differently, or vote differently. Why? Because it’s comfortable.
I’m going to a writer’s conference here in a couple weeks and will pitch a series of books. I’ve done this before and have been rejected. I know rejection is supposed to be good for you, improve your writing, thicken your skin, yada-yada, but I’m going back to the same individual who rejected another manuscript of mine. It would be safer and easier to stay home and watch reruns of Fixer Upper. Yet, God is calling me to be uncomfortable and walk this out in faith.
As a Jesus follower, I know I have a Helper in the Holy Spirit. He will give me what I need for the moment. I can ask God for wisdom who gives generously. I can ask God for guidance, and He will give me the light I need to make the next decision.
Yes, walking in faith can be uncomfortable. But through our uncomfortableness, we stretch and grow in our faith. We begin to believe God for bigger and better things. We move forward out of our status quo into the great adventure God has for us.
Maybe that speech wasn’t just for the graduates after all.
Want to read about some young women who stepped out of there comfort zones? Check out these earlier posts: