– Monday Muse –
Dear One, I finally did it! And my heart is beating hard. I’m trembling. My reaction is almost comical. And, Ron isn’t in the house to shore me up. But I did it, and hope to do it again, and again. That is if my nerves can take it! I had planned on doing it ever since the news of the last school shooting, but for various reasons, I was never able until this morning.
To do what I did, I had to step out of my comfort zone. Oh my, comfort zones, mine used to be, until 1979, the size of a pea. These days, due to the never ending nudging of the Holy Spirit it seems to have grown to the size of Lake Michigan. But even with a Great-Lake-sized-comfort zone, a new challenge can bring on an acute case of nervousness, such as today.
God calls His children, His people, to make a difference in this world for the cause of Christ. Doing so, often requires stepping out of our comfort zones. To do so, we must:
accept the stress of a new challenge
do our best to prepare for whatever the task
recall God’s amazing provision from previous opportunities
step into the undertaking with one hand in His
And there, in the midst of the mission, we watch as God’s provision sees us through. And no matter how well, or not so well, the work is carried out, we know that God asks for nothing more than our best. And even if our best does not measure up to Man’s standards, our best is pleasing to Him, pleasing God, oh how sweet the sound!
So, with our duty accomplished or still in progress, we smile in amazement, that our once pea-sized-comfort-zone, has grown a little more…not because of who we are, oh no, never, but because of whose we are. You know what God says. He likes to use the foolish things to confound the wise. Humbling isn’t it? I know…oh well.
Please travel back with me some forty-plus years, to a Sunday morning in the 1970’s where I resided in a pea-sized-comfort zone. After the worship service, with our five children in Sunday School, Ron and I are sitting in an adult Sunday School class. The teacher directs the class to take turns reading aloud the next chapter in the book of Acts. As it gets closer to my turn to read, my hands begin to sweat, my heart pounds harder, becoming almost painful. I know that when it is my turn to read my voice will be at an embarrassing trembling stage. I lean toward my husband, and whisper, “Ron, when it is my turn, please read for me.”
Back to 2018, when a few weeks ago, I was asked to be the speaker at a Mother’s Day gathering. I didn’t hesitate. I happily said, “Yes.” For through boundary stretching, God has placed public speaking well into the margins of my comfort zone. He has turned any opportunity to teach, speak, or write about God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit into the joy of my life.
Now, let’s look at today’s stretch. I am sure that it will not seem like much of a challenge to you, frankly it may seem disappointingly insignificant. But remember, I am a person who, at one time, could barely read aloud in a small Sunday school class.
While I am frying two eggs for a late breakfast, I often put off eating, hoping to consume less calories throughout the course of the day, I hear, Ron Jolly, on 580 radio. He’s announcing that it is time for Radio Graffiti. On Fridays, only, he offers a five minute segment where callers are invited to say one sentence, and immediately hang up, making way for a series of callers. At the thought of calling-in, and being heard all over the community, fear strikes me. I’ll wait until next week. No, I should do this. What I have to say needs to be heard. I stiffen, and tell myself, if Mr. Jolly gives the calling number once more, I WILL CALL. He does. I punch in the number, wondering what happens next.
And frankly, I do not remember, but when it was time to speak I said, “Stop school shooting by allowing prayer back into our public schools.”
I did it. It took only a few seconds, but I shook so much that as I gathered the eggs from the stove, one dropped to the floor. I looked down at the backside of the egg, “Well, that lessens my calorie intake by 80.” Standing, I consume the other egg. If I am alone, I never sit to eat. Time is too valuable.
It is said that every Christian is called to live a purpose-driven-life for the cause of Christ. That is nearly impossible to do within a pea-sized-comfort-zone. Thus, the need to draw ever nearer to God, to grow in Christ-likeness where hearts are softened for greater pliability, something like the softening of a stiff hide into soft leather in the hands of an artisan.
So, my comfort zone has grown, and I probably won’t even shake next Friday.
“Then he said to them all, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny
themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23
Insert: Since writing Radio Graffiti, another Friday has passed, and I called in again – with no nervousness this time, none, not at all, zero. If we don’t hide, God guides. This week’s sentence, If God was love, and we removed Him from our schools, wouldn’t we get what we now have? If you have an idea for a future sentence, please send it to me. Thanks!
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