Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV)
I grew up in the Midwest United States. The first time I ever traveled outside of the Midwest was the summer I graduated from high school when our church youth group took a trip to New Orleans for a National Youth Gathering. When I went to college, over two hours from home, it seemed like I would be living on the other side of the world. The first time I flew on an airplane was when I played on my college baseball team. I had very limited travel experience. You might say I was sheltered.
When I was in seminary, I chose to study in Israel for a summer. This was an overwhelmingly fulfilling experience. This was beyond anything this Midwestern boy ever thought he would do. I would travel by myself and live in a foreign country for several months. It was scary great. When I arrived, I discovered that most of my apprehensions about going on this trip were unfounded. It was one of the best experiences of my life, and I was better for it. My biggest regret was that I had not planned to stay longer and that I had not done it sooner.
Another experience was trying sushi for the first time. I could not fathom eating raw fish. But now it is one of my favorite lunch appointments with one of our deacons at our church. I would never have learned how much I like sushi if I had not stepped out of my comfort zone.
There is a reluctance that many of us have to the new and the unknown. We are comfortable with what we know. We make assumptions about the unknown that often have little to do with reality. Whether it’s trying a new food, traveling to a new place, joining a new group, or volunteering for new activity; it can be anxious.
Two days ago I shared that we don’t know what we don’t know. The unknown is the unknown. You never know what God has in store. We often fear the worse when it comes to the unknown, but more often than not, the unknown brings unexpected and wonderful surprises. The unknown is more than we ever imagined.
You may not realize what brings you the most joy and fulfillment. The more I open myself to new experiences, the more my tastes and my desires change. There is a more beautiful and wonderful world out there than I know from my limited experience. I’ve come to realize that there are things that I like even more than the things that I think I like. If only I would try them. God is about new starts, new beginnings, and new experiences. Why not try something new today!
- Try something new.
- What new experience have you been putting off out of fear?
- What is something you learned about yourself from a new experience?