Sunday, July 23, 2006

Returning to our comfort zones

I spoke a couple of weeks ago at my church. I actually followed on from the sermon last January (posted here Jan 30), but this was of a more confessional tone. My text was Hebrews 12:1.

The Oxford Science Dictionary defines weight as “the force by which a body is attached to the earth.” It means that being weighted to the earth keeps us from being flung into space, but I think that it has interesting spiritual implications. And I went on to discuss the weight of daily routine.

I want to do more. I know that I can’t bring about something different by dong the same thing, but I find myself governed by routine and my good intentions remain good intentions. This hit home when I considered the January message and asked myself, have I thrived outside my comfort zone? The truth is, I don’t know. Over a long enough period of time everything evens out. Unless you’ve marked your path you won’t see it.

Daily routines are the habits that build the walls of our comfort zones. They keep us looking inward and prevent us from being open to new things. Its our natural inclination to stay within the walls. Of course, there are good and bad periods. On good days we think “this is how it should be” and don’t appreciate them for the blessings they are. On bad days we need to remember that Jesus is with us. Those who don’t have Christ go through the same trials we do, but we have a God who will keep us and use our trials to bring us closer to Him. But the good and bad pass and we return to our routines and we forget all about them. When the good times return, we take them for granted again. When the bad times return, we forget that the Lord has brought us through them before.

Over time everything evens out, and in the end it all comes down to inertia. We are the same today as we were yesterday and we’ll be the same tomorrow unless we can bring change. I have a lot of good intentions. There are a lot of things I can think of that I want to do for the Lord. But unless I push out, they will only ever be intentions.

When I spoke about Thriving Outside Your Comfort Zone I was talking about what to do when you found yourself outside your comfort zone. I didn’t realize that until now. We do find ourselves there, but we can’t plan of happenstance to be an engine for change. Particularly when we have somewhere we want to go. Its like being in a strange city and getting on a random bus, yet still expecting that we’ll get where we intend. We have to figure out where we are and where we want to go. We all want to do great things in the Lord. We want to see our families saved. We want to see our churches full. We want to live with all the potential that He has in store for us. But if we do nothing, we’ll get nothing. If we do the same thing we’ve always done, we’ll stay attached to the same piece of earth we’ve always been attached to.

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