The sun hasn’t even thought about stirring yet, but here I am, backpack slung over one shoulder, right hand swinging a pillowcase full of a towel, washcloth, laundry bag, and of course, the pillow itself. I clutch my Bible, journal, prayer notebook, and two other books I’ve been wanting to read close to my chest with the other hand. It will be a long enough drive I have no doubt I’ll get through at least one of them.
I’m leaving at 5:30 a.m. in a giant bus with twenty-nine other sleepy-headed Followers. We’re going somewhere I’ve never been, leaving our time-zone behind to spend the week with people I’ve never met. We’re daring to be a family, the thirty of us, for a week – to reach out to struggling little children.
They call it a mission trip. I call it getting outside my comfort zone. I have to admit, I’m terrified. But that’s okay. Fear is not an end, just a hurdle in the road. All you have to do is jump over it. I guess?
But this will be good for me. Recently God’s been tugging on my heart with people He wants me to reach out to back home. People that maybe need a little hope. Funny that maybe the practice begins in Arizona.
This year promises to be full of new beyond-comfort-zone things. The first of which begins at 5 a.m. Sunday morning, packing up and hopping (crawling?) onto that bus. Because I figure if I’m scared to do something it’s a pretty good indicator that I ought to do it. (Builds character if nothing else!) I believe God wants His people to live outside their comfort zones; usually that’s where you’ll touch the most people, and It’s also where you have no choice but to trust God for strength and wisdom, etc.
I want to be that kind of person. I want to trust God enough to do terrifying things because He asks me to. The last thing I want to do is turn my back on those quiet little nudges that can mean the world of difference for someone else. I want to be courageous. And courageous is doing things no matter how scared you are to do them.
And what about you? What happens if God nudges you to do something uncomfortable or awkward or terrifying? Can I challenge you to listen to those nudges? If a thought comes that maybe you should visit and encourage someone you barely know, listen to it. Follow through. It just might happen that you will come away encouraged yourself. If He directs your attention to someone who looks lonely, don’t brush it off. Go and reach out. It might be awkward. You might not know what to say. It might be hard. It will most likely be uncomfortable. Our God is bigger than our discomfort, our awkwardness, our blank brains that can’t crank out a single intelligent sentence. He’s bigger than our comfort zones, and He wants us to step out beyond them and touch the people that live out there. The question is, are we willing?