Tag Archives: Out of the comfort zone

Secret of the Stairs

We might imagine our life as a sequence of stairs,  like climbing the mountain of God.

Each stair Includes a riser and a platform. We have to take action to ascend and step up the riser and onto the next platform of our life. Once on the platform of the next step, we are filled with new insight and understanding that changes how we view things. It’s like the difference between peering through the trees to see a marvelous landscape and rising above the trees for a better view.

But each step also requires action, leaving a place of comfort to a new level.  If we get stuck on one step, becoming too comfortable with our lot in life, we will not move forward/upward. Our view will remain the same, and a deeper and more fulfilling understanding will not be ours to claim…unless we step up.

What causes us to get stuck?

  • Contentment. Being satisfied with lesser things. CS Lewis observed we become  “too easily pleased” and so content with ordinary life that we lose sight of the extraordinary. “Content to make mud pies in the street when could be enjoying a vacation at the seashore.”
  • Attachment. We have such attachment to earthly things and endearing hobbies, we have no time for meaningful relationships. We like our little treasures but who in the end of their time really wishes more of them?
  • A small world view. We see life with blinders that shut out the rest of the world. With our vision restricted to our family and close friends, we fail to see others in whose hands God has carefully placed some of the pieces if our own life puzzle.
  • A small view of God. Is he a small and distant God unrelated to your life story or is he the powerful and loving main character? Is he a God of anticipated hope who delights in  bringing blessings to your every new day? Or do you find him a hard taskmaster you’d rather ignore?
  • A lack of heavenly vision and aspiration. Being so earthly minded we become of little heavenly good. Keeping the vision of heaven alive opens our eyes to our earthly purpose. We realize that in changing the world for just one person we change the world entire.

What are we to do if we find ourselves stuck in the stairway of life?

Ask God to search our heart, to reveal to us what is always true and forever good. Remove the veil from things of little value that only waste our life.

Seek God’s Word – Listen to how he speaks to you, nudges you, and guides you with his truth and grace. Discover the real purpose for your life and the power to live passionately and victoriously despite your present circumstance. Be who you were meant to be

Give Jesus a chance to speak healing to your wounded soul and peace to your anxious heart.

Look for opportunities in your normal (or chaotic) day to worship him, celebrate his goodness, give thanks, and be intentional in blessing to others.

Reevaluate your priorities and life goals while there is still time. One of the saddest sentences in the world begins with the words. “I should have.” Live life large and generously.

One  wants to save as big a pile of money as they can with a treasure hoard of comforting memories; the other wants to give as much away as possible, living a life of faith and love that really counts. It’s the same with our time and energies.  Who wins in the end?

The stairway of life continues, calling us ever upward. Just how beautiful of a view do you want to have?


Been on an adventure lately?

Jules Verne’s 1864 classic novel, Journey to the Center of the Earth, has captured the imaginations of generations of readers and movie viewers. It offers an adventure that attracts people of all ages, cultures, and time periods. I wonder if it is because Verne is such a good story-teller or because we are ‘wired’ to be inspired by and to live great adventures.

Marcia and I have enjoyed some great adventures: living in Australia, climbing a volcano, partnering in short-term missions, forming relationships with amazing people including our four children who have grown to become adult friends, growing our own love for each other over four decades, going ‘home’ to Bolivia, and even this past year’s journey through Leukemia. Adventures draw us out of our comfort zones and fill us with a sense of excitement, exploration, and energy. Sometimes they bring us to face great personal challenges. They certainly lead us to new discoveries we wouldn’t have uncovered on a more settled path.

Did you know you can live a life of adventure without leaving your home town? Of all the exciting adventures, the journey to experiencing God personally and the good plans he has for you must be the most exciting. It is one where we discover who we are and who we were really meant to be. It is where he reveals himself in our innermost being, and where our deepest desires cry out and are satisfied as only he can. It is the adventure of learning that you have real power to live a victorious life, not one of slavery to the demands of circumstances. It is where we discover joy that surpasses understanding.

The adventure of discovering God leads us to uncover the secret of being content. It is where enduring faith grows. The journey with God reveals our true heart. It begins when we draw close to God and he draws close to us. It is where we learn to hear – and follow – his voice. It is where we learn to find – and share – unexpected blessings every day when our lives intersect with others. It is the adventure that brings us to the reward at the end of this life, “Well done, good and FAITHFUL servant.”

Are you living the adventure God calls you to live? Or have you settled for whatever comes your way? The great thing about adventures is there is no time limit for when they can begin. You can “pack your bags” right now and decide to live the adventure to which God calls you. Not sure what that is? Why not spend time talking with him today about this. Read his Word. I’m pretty sure it is going to have something to do with loving (and enjoying) him and loving others in his name.

Your life is meant not just to be inspired by adventure but to BE an adventure with God. Live it well!