This week I'm away at a Christian festival called Spring Harvest. I'm here raising awareness around the Gap Year programme I run with my church. One of the ways in which we've begun conversations with people about our programme is by asking the following question...
'When was the last time you stepped outside of your comfort zone?
'We've asked this question to A LOT of people and what I've found striking is that most of them are unable to answer very quickly, if at all. It got me thinking about comfort zones. Are we a people who regularly do things which challenge us? Of course, comfort zones are nicer. There's familiarity and, well, comfort there. But I really believe we're meant for more than that. All we need to do is look at the heroes of the faith who we read about in the Word- those who have gone before us. Heroes like Peter for example, who left the comfortable boat he was in to literally walk on the water towards Jesus. (Matthew 14:22-33) This sort of boldness reminds me of one of the answers we received in asking this question this week. The guy who answered told us that he recently traveled to Japan with only £50 to last him ten days! This extreme of stepping out of the ordinary is much like Peters.
But there are other Bible heroes of course who did step out, but maybe needed a little more of a push to do so than Peter did. Take Gideon for example. Before actually doing what God was calling him to do, he asked for a number of signs of confirmation. God graciously cooperated of course, and Gideon eventually did step out. (You can read all about his story in the book of Judges, chapters six to eight.)
Now, we could get hung up on the fact that Gideon needed so many signs before he actually did anything but the fact is, he actually did something! If you're anything like me, you might be a bit like Gideon in asking for signs, but then still not actually going through with what we’re called to step into!
Sometimes we can theorise it, we can pray for a burning bush experience like Moses had, just to be sure… and then still stop before taking the leap. Comfort zones are still much safer than stepping out, even if we’re sure we’re called to step. Reading the variety of answers we’ve received this week has really challenged me. It’s had me reflecting on the ‘could have beens’ I’ve said no to in the past because of fear. I don’t want to keep adding to that list. In fact, I want to build a list of times I well and truly stepped out by the grace of God. I want to challenge you to do the same! Whether you step out like Peter with urgency and passion, or like Gideon with caution and hesitancy, the end result is the same! So step out and make a habit of asking yourself that question…
‘When was the last time you stepped outside of your comfort zone?’
If stepping outside of your comfort zone might be joining a part time gap year programme on which you'll be built up Biblically and practically as well as being challenged and equipped to use your gifts talents and passions to grow the kingdom of God, look no further! Click here to find out more and get in touch for more information.