Living outside your comfort zone

Published 8:14 am Friday, August 17, 2018

By Hunter Greene
I believe I have hit my midlife crisis… at 21. I was never much of a rebellious child or a dare devil, but this summer, I was struck with the notion to be wild just one time. So, about a month ago, I bought a motorcycle. The wildest part about this story is that I had only learned to drive a manual transmission a couple of months prior, and I had never even sat on a motorcycle before. I had certainly put the cart before the horse. Even in the face of multiple people discouraging my decision, I was committed to learning to ride.
A few days after I bought it, I decided it was time to try it out. In my head, I thought it would be simple, like riding a bicycle. I was wrong. I spent the first 30 minutes on my motorcycle in a church parking lot trying to figure out how to pull out without stalling the engine. I also learned that when you crank the throttle and immediately release the clutch, you will end up in someone’s wet yard turned over with a broken mirror. Don’t worry, nothing was hurt except my pride. After an hour or two, I finally started to get used to it, and I decided to ride with a buddy slowly through a winding back road. Not to brag or anything, but I am a pretty good rider at 15 mph in first gear.
As I was slowly making my way around some curves, a couple of cars passed us. Having never rode a motorcycle, much less on the road before, I found myself whispering, “Help me Jesus…Help me Jesus… Help me Jesus,” each time a car passed. They weren’t doing anything dangerous, and I was doing what I needed to do. However, there was something about my vulnerability in that moment that drove me to the Master.
That is a long story to say this: if your prayer life is too inconsistent, your life is too comfortable. I am not telling you to go buy a motorcycle, jump out of an airplane, or play in traffic to revive your prayer life. What I’m saying is that oftentimes, we get so comfortable in our 9 to 5 jobs, our Sunday afternoon naps, and our convenient lifestyles that we have completely forgotten God. It is sad that it takes God rocking our world with something for us to come back to the table to talk with Him. Maybe God is wanting us to choose to leave our comfort and security and live in a place of dependence and faith in Him alone.
Psalm 34:17-19 reads, “The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.”
Many of us quote this scripture when we are diagnosed with cancer or find ourselves in the hospital. And that’s fine. I believe God listens to our prayers in our time of distress. However, what if God wanted us to be troubled over the lost in our lives? What if God wanted us to be broken over the broken single mothers and hungry children around us? What if God wanted us to be afflicted by the sin that lingers in our life and in our churches?
Living a life for Jesus is not safe, comfortable, or convenient. It is, or at least should be according to the narrative of Acts, dangerous, burdensome, and hard. Many of us don’t pray because we don’t need God. Many of us live our lives in a spiritual parking lot going 10 mph on our holy Harleys. But God wants us out in the highways with full throttle serving Him and loving people. If we do that consistently, we will eventually find ourselves broken, but thank God, we get to fall broken before the King of Kings.
We may offer God lip service on Sunday morning, but we think we are doing just fine paying our bills and living our lifestyle. Jesus has called us out into the water. Not to swim, but to walk with Him. Get out of your comfort zone this week. Trust Him. Pray. Enjoy the ride.
(The Solution Column is provided by Pastor Brandon Young of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church, Hampton, and his associate, Hunter Greene.)

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