Uncomfortable. Painful, awkward, uneasy.
We’re pondering ways to live fully alive. I shared four ways at our recent BYOB and B event, and I’m sharing them here individually. We’ve explored live authentic, live open, and live fearless. Today we’re exploring the fourth way: live uncomfortable.
Somewhere along the way we’ve paid the price of admission for a comfortable life. We’ve believed the lie that comfort in this life is our goal. We’ve been deceived to think the more comfortable we are, the more successful we are, and the more at peace we are.
Is our goal to live a comfortable life?
Don’t get me wrong, I love comfort, just as much—if not more—than anyone else. I love spending the day in my sweats, hair in a mini-ponytail, no makeup on, with my fuzzy slippers and snuggled up in my favorite blue fuzzy blanket. But, if I did that every day, where would my comfort get me? It would take me to the land of lethargy, of inactivity, of boredom, and more importantly, I don’t believe idleness is not God’s will for my life.
The slacker’s soul craves, yet has nothing, but the diligent soul will be satisfied.Proverbs 13:4 Tree of Life
Who wants to be known as a slacker? But, I also love my comfort zone. Do you love yours, too? It’s like that favorite fuzzy blanket of mine. It’s so comfy, I don’t want to venture from it. But, one thing I’ve learned: I don’t grow if I stay there.
Someone once said, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
On a quiet August Saturday morning in 2013 my husband was bicycling on an open black-topped county road. Seeing a white car coming from behind in his rear-view mirror, he double-checked to make sure his tires were hugging the road’s white line. In a few seconds, the next thing he knew he was flying in the air. The white car had hit him.
Landing with the breath knocked out of him, he lain on the side of the road thinking his last breaths were near. Thankfully, his lungs began filling with air again. Covered in road rash and blood, the x-rays showed the only bones broken were cracked ribs. His bicycle was destroyed, and quite possibly his joy of biking. I believed his days of bicycling were over.
God gives us opportunities to live uncomfortable.
But, January 2014 rolled around, and the RAGBRAI route for that July was announced. Bill shyly asked if I would help him face his fear of getting back on a bicycle again by riding RAGBRAI with him on our tandem.
Um, what?? We had ridden our tandem maybe twice before he popped this question. Biking was not my thing. It was his. I couldn’t fathom the thought of sitting on a bicycle seat for 7 days, 7+ hours a day, in the hot Iowa July sun. Let alone the sleeping in a tent each night and standing in line for a shower each day. No thank you. None of that sounded comfortable—or fun—to me.
But, how could I say no to helping my husband face his fear? If I said no, Bill might never-ever do RAGBRAI again. So, I did what every one of you would have done. I closed my eyes, gulped down the lump in my throat, and said yes.
Can I just tell you how uncomfortable RAGBRAI is?
Can I just tell you how hard some of the hills are and how sleeping in a tent and standing in line for a shower is not my idea of a relaxing vacation? How hot and sweaty and stinky it can be?
But, can I also tell you how God used this act of stepping out of my comfort zone to be a week-long adventure where I get to see my husband transform into almost like a kid on Christmas morning? And how thrilling it is to experience this great state on the back of a tandem bicycle? And how God has used that silly bicycle to bless our marriage beyond anything I could have ever expected? All because I said yes that day in January.
That’s what happens when we step out of our comfort zones.
Sure, it may be hard and uneasy, and it might be painful and sweaty and stinky and we might find ourselves standing in line for a shower, but God meets us in the uncomfortable. God stretches us in the uncomfortable. God grows us in the uncomfortable. We live fully alive in the uncomfortable.
That week in July has become the week I feel most alive. It’s where I see God in all sorts of amazing places, people, and situations. It’s where I most definitely live uncomfortable.
Friend, so, what about you?
Where is God calling you out of your comfort zone? Where is He calling you to live uncomfortable? God isn’t as concerned about our comfort as He is about our character. God didn’t create us to be comfortable, He created us to be uncomfortable. We aren’t meant to fit in, we are meant to stand out.
Let’s bust out of our comfort zones. Shake things up. Begin that exercise program. Take those guitar lessons. Write that book. Start that project. Apply for that job. What have you got to lose?
Today’s a great day to live uncomfortable.
This material was first shared at our Bring Your Own Bible and Beverage Event, Fully Alive.
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Oh. My. Word! This is powerful and exactly my conflict in this lovely stage of retirement! I am comfortable! And it doesn’t feel right. I’m uncomfortable with my comfortable! I tried a couple things early on that I thought God was calling me to and both ended up not working out. But maybe it’s time to really start listening to hear His voice again. Prayers appreciated!So often I get these far out ideas and convince myself they can’t be done or I’m not the one to do them or what I’d have to give up (back to being a chicken) but I truly want to do God’s will. Guess I need to leave this comfort zone after all……
I love this, Cindy… “I’m uncomfortable with my comfortable!” So true! Yes, I’m praying for you in this area. Please keep me posted with what God does. He’ll guide you every step of the way. Cheering you on!