Thursday, February 12, 2009

Comfort Zone

I have been sick for almost a week now. I'm starting to feel some better, but I'm not back to normal yet. (I know many will say I have never been normal.) I started coming down with a cold and a terrible cough last Friday, and by Sunday morning I was running a fever and aching all over. Gina has been sick a couple of times recently, but I though I had bit the bullet and made it through cold and flu season without getting sick. Boy was I wrong. As the old saying goes, At first I was afraid I was going to die, and then I was afraid I wasn't.

The last couple of days Gina has finally gotten back to feeling like herself again after her bouts with the flu. I hope I get to feeling like a new man soon. I'm sure tired of feeling like this old man who is sick. Here's to becoming a new man. I'm sure Gina is tired of this old whiny one.

Being sick got me to thinking about how illness parallels our human nature. We are sick spiritually, and God wants to heal us so we won't be sick with sin. The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that "anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!" We have all heard the term “Born Again” to describe the new life. It is probably one of the most common phrases in the Christian vocabulary. What is a "Born Again" Christian?

In 1 Peter 1:23, the Bible tells us, "you have been born again. This new life did not come from something that dies, but from something that cannot die. You were born again through God’s living message that continues forever". To be "Born Again" means to have a new life.

There is a law of life that states, "everything that is new eventually becomes old". That law has been painfully brought to my attention over the last couple of weeks as I have been going through lots of old pictures to post on my Facebook page. I recently read an appropriate quote, "youth is a disease from which we all recover". I am recovering nicely, thank you very much.

The next time you are in a big parking lot such as at the mall or at Wal-Mart take a look at the cars. There are some nice new cars. There are some that are in need of some body work. There are a number of old work vehicles. Here in rural Arkansas, there are lots of beat up pick up trucks in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Every car in the parking lot was once a new car. My Daddy has lots of antique cars. They all have something in common. Whether they are nicely restored or are nothing but a rusted out hulk, they were all once new.

1940 Buick Limited

What happens when the new wears off of our "Born Again" experience? What happens when our new life isn’t so new anymore? We get in a rut. When we are in a rut, and are just going through the motions, don’t you think God notices?

All of us have a comfort zone in our life. To get out of the rut, we have to move outside of our comfort zone.

How do we get outside of our comfort zone? Here is a list of ideas that I came up with. Everything on the list may not be for you, but maybe it will help you get some ideas how to get out of your comfort zone, and get out of the rut. Maybe they will help your new life to actually be new again.

1. Expand your circle of friends
2. Study a subject you haven’t studied
3. Examine your core beliefs
4. Listen more and talk less
5. Try doing something that you have been afraid to do
6. Eat between meals - spiritually - don’t let religion be rote
7. Make your own list
8. Don’t be afraid of other religious viewpoints – truth withstands
9. Don't worry about what other Christians are doing
10. Hug somebody
11. Go on a mission trip
12. Don’t be afraid to express yourself
13. Be very gentle when you express yourself
14. Tell people you love them
15. Loosen up, don’t be rigid
16. Affirm a leader
17. Smile, be happy
18. Read a version of the Bible you haven’t read before
19. Visit another country or culture
20. Change the order you do things
21. Help somebody who isn’t expecting it
22. Don’t be afraid of change – it isn’t inherently evil
23. Call someone you haven’t called for a long time
24. If someone invites you to their church--- GO
25. Learn a new song. Buy a new CD
26. Be more gracious
27. Visit someone you have never visited before
28. Read a Christian book you haven’t read before
29. Take time to do something you really enjoy
30. Give a totally unexpected gift to someone
31. Ask for other peoples opinions
32. Volunteer to tell the childrens story
33. Pray instead of being critical
34. Let go of resentment
35. Shake up your prayer life. Pray at different times or ways
36. Say thank you more often
37. If you see your devotions are in a rut shake them up
38. Sit somewhere different in church
39. Intentionally use different phrases when you pray
40. Never forget what Jesus has done for you

Let’s resolve to get out of our comfort zone. Ask God every day for a new life.


  1. How wonderful to find a fellow Arkie!! I love your blog and the picture on the header is outstanding. I will be back to read more.

  2. That is a super list, thank you. And a great analogy you have used to get your message across. I hope you are feeling better soon. Dreaded flu! Your Daddy's car is a great one too, they are beautiful these antique cars.

  3. Wonderful post, Richard. Being sick certainly didn't adversely affect the way you right. Nonetheless... hope you are feeling better soon.

  4. Those are some great suggestions. There are several there that I like. I think one that might really get me out of my comfort zone is #5.

    I am so sorry you and your wife have been down with sick bugs. What a bummer. So glad though that you are both starting to feel better.
    Blessings to you.

  5. This is a beautiful post. I like your Dad's Buick. And most of the 40 points of your list are applied by me, many of them daily. A very important one is that I talk less and listen more.

  6. I am so glad that you and your mrs. are well and up again. I know I am very happy just to have a camera with me whereever I go. I take photo or video of things that attracts me. And also learning how to put them into slide and adding my favourite music in them. The lastest I did was finding my late mom's old photos of her younger days and I put into a slide and adding some very beautiful music that after watching it, I have tears rolling down.

    Now I want to learn how to draw I am terrible at drawing. Do have a nice weekend and take care. :)

  7. Great reminder to jump out of our ordinary and to start experiencing life again.

  8. I love 12...and I'm trying really hard to be better at 13. Wonderful list! Hope you are feeling better soon - sounds like we had similar weeks!

  9. I'm sorry you've been unwell and glad you're both better now. Thanks for your prayers; I really appreciate them. I enjoyed your list of ideas to "shake things up." It's a good reminder that life can get too much... the same, I guess. Have a good week.