Day 2: Thursday after Ash Wednesday
- Matthew 8:18–20
- 2 Corinthians 4:7–12
Questions to Consider
- What is something in your life you desire to change?
- What are some of your comfort zones that keep you from making the desired change?
- What are some steps you might take to move beyond those comfort zones?
- How does Jesus help us move beyond our comfort zones?
Plan of Action
Try a new experience. Examples of things you might might do:
- Try a new restaurant (if that is too much out of your comfort zone, try something different at your favorite restaurant).
- Drive a different way home from work.
- Volunteer in a new way with your church or with another community organization.
- Introduce yourself to a person you don’t know. Make a new friend with someone who may look different, talk different, or think different. Learn who they are and not who you think they are.
- Just do something that is not typically you.
Have you seen the picture above? I am not sure where it originates. I have seen it making its way around the Internet. The message is simple. The point is clear. Not much is going to change until we move out of our routine.
The cliched definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. But moving past what is comfortable is often difficult. We like the familiar and what we know. While many of us love the “idea” of change, what we don’t love as much is change itself. We have a way of settling in with familiar patterns.
After the Israelites were freed from their slavery in the Old Testament, they were left to wander in the desert for 40 years. The idea of their freedom sounded great while still in Egypt, but after a short time into their journey for freedom, they wanted to turn around and go back. Had they forgotten how bad off they had it? Were they not up for this new experience in front of them?
And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Exodus 16:2–3 (ESV)
There was no going back. After 40 years of living in the desert they entered into the Promised Land. But entering the Promised Land meant stepping out of what they knew in Egypt. It might seem like it would have been easy to leave Egypt and their slavery behind. They certainly did not love Egypt, but Egypt was what they knew.
What is your Egypt? What do you need to leave behind? What comfort zone are you holding on to which you don’t want to let go? You don’t love it. But it’s what you know. That is why it’s hard to let go.
Let’s start getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. It’s where the magic happens. It’s where God is experienced in new ways. It’s where life is lived to the fullest and joy is experienced on the journey.
When we encounter the Jesus of the Bible our comfort zone will be challenged. Jesus is all about new experiences outside our comfort zones. He called Peter out of the boat (Matthew 14:28–31). He asked the Rich Young Man to give up all his wealth (Matthew 19:21–22). He went against the status quo and challenged the religious establishment of his day (Matthew 23:1–36). Foxes have holes, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head (Luke 9:57–58).
Jesus does things differently. He has a way of helping us see things with new eyes. The truth is there is no going back to Egypt. The question is whether we will embrace the journey to the Promised Land. The more we let Jesus be our guide, the sweeter the journey becomes.