This weekend I stepped out of my comfort zone and embraced Indian food for the second time in the past 2 months. With Brandon’s birthday just around the corner I took him out for his favorite (and previously one of my least-favorite) foods. Although the restauraunt had come recommended, we were both surprised by how delicious the food was – and I am now a convert! This may not sound like a big deal, but I have very few foods that I stay away from, with Indian historically being one of them. My disfavor can easily be summed up by the fact that I got sick after the first time I ate Indian food as well as when I was in Kenya (where many of the food has Indian inspiration and similar smells/textures).
Each time I find a new favorite food or activity I am always struck by the benefits of stepping out of my comfort zone!
I think such a statement can easily be applied to one's faith walk as well.
I was raised in what many would consider to be a "Christian bubble." I was blessed to be raised by parents who had a solid faith and who were committed to making sure my brother's and I came to know Christ the way they did. I went to a private Christian school from preschool through college and almost all of my friends were from school or church and were consequently raised in very similar faith-based homes as I was.
In high school I first started hearing the term "Christian bubble" tossed around in disdain. There seemed to be a reproach by some that my life was so sheltered that I wasn't getting exposed to the "real world." Innately, I tend to disagree with this philosophy. Yes, I was sheltered, but in no way do I consider that a bad thing. In fact, I think that my upbringing allowed me opportunities to become solid in my understanding of what I believed and why I believed it before I was challenged to defend that belief.
However, as I grew older I realized that my upbringing also caused me to be naturally more comfortable in faith-focused settings - i.e. with a group of Christian friends, at church, in a classroom with classmates and teachers who shared my beliefs, etc. I think such a comfort can become a downfall. If one becomes too satisfied in their "comfort zone" there is the possibility that they will isolate themselves and refrain from sharing Christ's message to those who desperately need it around them.
Some of my best life experiences have come in moments where I have stepped out of my comfort zone - taking a favorite (but incredibly challenging) course in college, traveling to Kenya, going to law school, etc. But I don't just want to step out of my comfort zone for experiences that benefit me - but also in situations that can benefit others.
Me being oh-so-happy to have law books to read (entering law school was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life!)
Additionally, the Bible talks of how we are called to step out of our comfort zones! In Matthew 14 Christ tells Peter to step out of the boat and walk on the water based on faith. In Exodus 6 God gives Moses the strength to speak for the Israelite slaves - something that was clearly outside of his comfort zone!
God can work in incredible ways through what we might perceive to be our weaknesses or insecurities.
Have you stepped out of your comfort zone recently?