What's Your Comfort Zone?
By Doug Bing, Washington Conference president
What is your comfort zone?
We all have them. Places where we feel totally at ease. Activities where we feel at home.
For many it is at home on the couch with a book and warm drink. For others it is on the back deck with some freshly grilled food and good company. For others it is behind the wheel of their vehicles alone with their thoughts. Maybe you enjoy one or two friends playing pickleball at the courts close to your home.
Here is one definition that I found for comfort zone.
The comfort zone is a psychological state in which a person feels at ease because they're not being tested. Inside the comfort zone, people don't typically engage in new experiences or take on any challenges. They only participate in activities that are familiar, making them feel 'in control' of their environment.
For some this definition sounds wonderful. For others this may make you feel a bit uncomfortable because it is a boringly true about you.
The people of Jesus’ day had a comfort zone of about 35 miles.
Rarely did anyone travel outside of 35 miles away from their homes. In fact, if you visit the Sea of Galilee and see the small towns that still exist in that area and realize that most of the ministry of Jesus took place in that relatively small area it seems like a rather tiny start for one of the greatest movements of all time.
Yet while Jesus was in that area he consistently called people out of their comfort zones. While some of them may not have left that 35-mile area, he called them out of their mental comfort zones.
He called them to look at the tax collectors differently. He called them to look at forgiveness differently. He called them to look at those who sinned differently. He ate meals with people who those in religious society would not eat with.
He called people to be fishers of men and by that he meant all of humankind no matter what.
Think about the 12 disciples. Men, who for the most part who would have never traveled outside of that thirty-five-mile area, instead followed the leading of Jesus all over the world. Peter traveled to Rome. Thomas traveled to India. John ended up on Patmos. Others traveled to Spain and Africa. All in service to Jesus. All to places that in normal life they would have never ventured. Some never made it out of Jerusalem and were killed there.
You see their comfort zone changed. Their comfort zone was now walking with Jesus. When Jesus said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men,” he was getting them out of their comfort zones and putting them into a new comfort zone. That zone where Jesus will take you places and give you experiences that you never thought possible.
The real comfort zone needed by all of us is the Jesus zone. Being right where Jesus wants you to be and doing the things that He wants you to do.
Matthew 28 states, “Go therefore into all the world.” That gets us out of our comfort zones. For some it will me talking to someone with 35 miles of us. For others it may mean going to a place like Abraham that God would show us when we get there. Either way the comfort zone is going, saying and being where God calls you.
May each of us be in such a covenant relationship with God that the only comfort zone for us is totally doing the will of God in every aspect of our life and letting the results be up to God.