I woke up in the middle of the night and looked at my digital alarm clock to check the time, but I saw only darkness. Why can’t I see my clock? I wondered. Maybe my pillows are piled too high and they’re blocking out the light. Then, I realized the problem: loss of electric power.
Because my body was covered with warm blankets and still felt warm, I did not feel too concerned about my situation. I went back to sleep, expecting that electric power would soon be restored and that the temperature of my bedroom would not decrease very much.
My husband had also been awake in the night; instead of going back to sleep, he took action. He called the power company and reported the outage. So, as I expected, when I woke up in the morning, our electric power had been restored. My bedroom was warm.
Would the power have been restored as quickly if my husband had not made that phone call? Maybe but maybe not—he did not leave it to chance. I started to think about the ways that I leave something to chance or rely on the actions of someone else and slip into inaction.
Inaction means I do nothing. I don’t commit to anything. Or, if I do commit to something, I don’t follow through and act upon it. I depend on someone else to get out of bed and call the electric company—climb out of their comfort zone and provide me with the comfort that I want.I admit that this feels nice at the time. But it has its down side.
How good do I feel about myself when I depend on someone else to do the uncomfortable thing (s) that I prefer to avoid? How does it affect my level of confidence?
To truly grow, I must accept some discomfort—get out of my warm bed, put my foot on the cold floor (no, I don’t sleep with my cell phone), and call the power company. I must get out of the “warm bed” of that which is familiar to me and step on the “cold floor” of that which is unknown to me.
I resist such action because I don’t know the outcome. When God calls me to step into a new adventure, he doesn’t tell me exactly what will happen. Taking a step of faith means facing the discomfort of the unfamiliar.
If I remain in my comfort zone, I will never know the outcome of an unfamiliar action. While it might protect me from disappointment, failure, and disapproval, it also prevents me from happiness, success, and affirmation.
I, often, need to remind myself of this truth because writing—like any other creative activity involves stepping out of my comfort zone. I can’t predict how my words will be received or whether or not they will be read. So, what motivates me keep on writing?
Receiving feedback and affirmation helps me. Thank you to everyone who’s taken time to comment on my posts. The joy I feel when I hear someone has been encouraged by my words energizes me.
But what happens when affirmation from others is missing? What,keeps me returning to my computer when I’d rather enjoy the comfort of sleeping in It’s the strong belief that I have a calling. I am a writer.
I choose to step out of my comfort zone in order to complete the work God has gifted me to do, because I want the future joy of hearing these words: “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together” (Matthew 25:21 NLT)!
Along with my expectation for future joy, prayer is the primary action that gives me the strength and courage to face the discomforts of my day. When I disconnect from my power source, I have nothing to say.
Some questions for your prayerful consideration:
- In what way(s) might you avoiding discomfort?
- What makes it scary for you to step onto the cold floor of the unknown?
- What possible joy might you experience if you took a chance?