A Dream Castle or Comfort Zone?

Think Outside the Comfort Zone

A Dream Castle or Comfort Zone?
Photo by Adrien Sifre
Think Outside the Comfort Zone

As my husband and I sat together on the couch the other morning, we could see the northern lights. Our living room window faces the south but we can see toward the east from the couch. I got to thinking and asked him if he wanted to do something crazy. So, we put on our coats and boots and braved the cold. When we stepped outside and looked up to the sky, we were blown away. The northern lights were everywhere around us. It was like we were standing underneath the center of it. White wisps were pulsating, intensifying and then fading, all around us. It was the coolest thing I've ever seen.

From the living room window, we saw the lights. It was neat; nothing too exciting though. But when we stepped outside, we could see so much more.

Our comfort zone is like that. Inside our comfort zones, it's cozy, warm, fuzzy, comfortable. It's predictable, stable. We know what to expect and how we'll feel. But when we stay within those cozy confines of our comfort zone, we limit ourselves. What great things would we experience if we stepped outside that line or wall? Better yet, who would we meet?

If we hide behind judgments, preconceived notions, or beliefs about ourselves, we miss out on opportunities to experience adventures or learn new things or make new friendships. The wall we've built around us keeps us from those things. Maybe we do go outside our comfort zone every now and then, but how far do we go? Do we go across the bridge to the other side of the moat? Or do we stay within the confines of our castle grounds?

How uncomfortable are we willing to get? There's a good chance, we won't be as uncomfortable as we think. And there's also a good chance that we'll learn and grow from the experience. As we reach beyond our comfort zone, our zone expands.

Just imagine all of the things we can experience if we just have the courage to step outside our wall.

My husband and I never thought we'd ever live in Alaska. It made more sense to stay in Colorado, close to our family, the new friends we had made, a great church, a place we were familiar with. But for some reason, God placed it on our hearts to move. It was a long drive up here. But we are so glad we did it because of the friends we've made here and because of everything we've learned in such a short amount of time.

If we never step out in faith, we miss the opportunity to learn. If we think we know enough and don't have anything new to learn, we're missing the boat. There is always something to learn and always a way we can grow in our faith or in our relationships.

Over the past three and a half months since we've been here, I've learned that I need to step out of my comfort zone to be more spontaneous and more social. What do I gain from being stuck in my ways, never wanting to sway on my schedule, or being antisocial? Absolutely nothing positive.

I know it's nice and cozy inside our comfort zones, but start stepping out in faith and looking for ways you can enrich your life. Also, look for ways you can enrich other people's lives. After all, it's not all about us.

Jody Calkins
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