We all value comfort. When I was growing up we moved to a house that had central heat and air conditioning. Back then that was a big deal. Of course the system included a thermostat. The unique thing about the one in our house was it had a comfort zone printed on it. Right above 68 and 72 degree range were the words; "Comfort Zone". The heat and air company that produced the thermostat was educating their customers on how their machines could keep the home owner comfortable. It didn't take long before most people knew what their comfort zone was. It also didn't take long after that for each individual to establish their own comfort zone. I know people who are comfortable with a constant temperature of 58 degrees, still others are only comfortable at 78 degrees. I still like the old 68-72 comfort zone from my childhood. The point is we value comfort.
I'm constantly surprised by the growing number of Christ followers that have decided that their comfort is more important than anything else. When it comes to following Jesus, they will not get out of their comfort zone. This "deny yourself and take up your cross daily" thing is not part of their life.(Luke 9:23) It's all about their family, their job, their church, their town, their money, their food, their plan, etc, etc, etc. That may sound preachy or a little harsh, but the Kingdom of God is not intended to be safe or comfortable. If you read the Scriptures carefully you will find our calling is always toward those places out of our comfort zone and many times down right unsafe. Now before you think I'm advocating for a life without boundaries or guidelines, remember that Jesus also said "...no one builds a tower without first making plans."(Luke 14:28) No I don't believe we should be like rudderless ships going wherever the wind blows, but I do believe that our Lord calls us to places that are outside of our "68-72" degrees of comfort.
The Gospel dares us to break out of our comfortable lifestyles and risk everything for Him. It dares us to walk across the street to speak to that neighbor that you haven't met and begin a spiritual conversation that might lead him or her to Christ. For some people that is way outside of their comfort zone. In other cases it dares us to get in an airplane and fly to the other side of the world to plant seeds in the hearts of those who have never heard the life-giving truth. In every case, it dares us to move to the outer edges of our comfort in order to follow him. Jesus never said, "Just sit there and whine and complain that the temperature in the church is too hot or too cold". He never said, "Behold you shall look at your watch when your pastor goes over your time limit while preaching his sermon." No he said, "Come follow me." (Luke 18:22) His call to us is a compelling, personal call that dares us to place His will and His ways above our desires.
The forth aspect of our association's vision is DARE. As we PREPARE, SHARE and CARE, we must DARE to go to the highways and hedges and compel others to come in. That means we will have to get out of our box of conventional thinking and comfort and follow Jesus into a Kingdom that is full of risk and uncomfortable situations. So...I dare you!
Keep Lookin' UP!