PRACTICING COURAGE IN THE WILDERNESS
Based on Living Compass “Practicing Courage with all your heart, soul, strength and mind”
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
Neale Donald Walsch
There are some rather unusual stories in the gospels. One of them is the day the disciples saw Jesus walking on water. Of course, they freaked out, but Jesus told them to “Take courage and not to be afraid!” At this point, Peter decides to climb out of the boat and join Jesus on the water. Things were going pretty well until the wind came up and stirred Peter’s fears and he started to sink and called out, “Lord, save me!”
Peter was able to step outside of his comfort zone (literally) but moved rather quickly to his panic zone (Lord, help me!) But at the end of this story, when everyone had climbed back into the boat, all the disciples declared, “Truly you are the Son of God.” They experienced a moment of profound belief and grew in their faith.
A good title for this story might be, “if you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat!” This is the step we take when we open ourselves to learn or to experience something new. However, if we have set a goal for growth or
change that is too big or we are making that change too quickly, we may find ourselves in the Panic Zone. Life, too, can throw us into the Panic Zone when we are forced to face unplanned and unexpected challenges.
Have you noticed how God has a regular habit of calling us out of our comfort zone? This is true for individuals, as well as groups, communities, and congregations. It takes courage and the support of a loving community to step out of that comfort zone, to step out of the boat. When we find ourselves heading into the panic zone, it is good to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. To trust and have faith that the Lord is with us.
What does it mean to you, to step out of the boat and walk on water? Is there a specific way in which God is calling you right now to move out of your Comfort Zone? Are you experiencing any part of the Panic Zone right now, and if so, how might you seek support to move into the Growth Zone?