Every time I pick up a pen, I’m outside of my comfort zone.
When I carry a camera in my hands, I sometimes feel incapable of capturing the scene that I see in my heart. The humblest tools of a pen and a camera become the most debilitating.
Who am I to think I can use the same tools as A.W. Tozer, Fanny Crosby, C.S. Lewis, Isobel Kuhn, Ansel Adams, or Jeremy Cowart? As I look through the amazing images that friends, mentors, and experts have captured, I face the tendency of comparing the two, and finding that my images or writing fall far short. When I read a book that stirs my soul, often the thought strays in: “Don’t write—you’re not good enough or wise enough to do it.”
Thursday mornings find me serving 6- 10-year-olds in our local Bible Study Fellowship group. This week, children in my class learned that God is Eternal: He exists outside of time, is not constrained by time, and is not measured by anything. There are days my heart needs second grade theology!
God exists and works outside of time itself. As One who has neither beginning nor end, God is not bound by time. A God this big, this immeasurable, who exists outside of time itself, also exists outside of my comfort zone. He lovingly draws—and winsomely invites—me to venture outside of that comfort zone with Him.
Is it possible that pushing myself out of my comfort zone—and in to writing and sharing those thoughts with you—means pushing myself into God Himself? Oh, may it be so!
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7). Here we see that a Jesus-lover is empowered with the spirit of power, love, and self-control.
I don’t know about you, but if I were packing a proverbial suitcase to take into the unknown and could choose three traits to take with me, those would be the three: Power, Love, and Self-Control. (Other versions use “sound judgment” and “discipline” for that last item.) And here is a promise: I can reject fear as not from God. He promises that I can walk in power, love, and discipline.
When I write and speak and photograph outside my comfort zone, the humble tools of pen and laptop and camera become the very tools that can bring a smile and encouragement to someone else.
May God give you the power to venture outside of comfortable today. May He fill you with love for a person or group of people that makes it worthwhile to “do it scared,” and may He infuse you with the discipline to do it day after day after day. After all, God is eternal—He is outside of both time and the comfort zone.
What about you, friend? What tool has God given you that you can pick up and use outside your comfort zone today?