I’ve been contemplating taking on something new and was having a hard time deciding whether to go for it or not. One friend suggested it would be good for me to get out of my comfort zone. My response was that the new thing wasn’t outside my comfort zone, I was simply worried I wouldn’t have enough time to do it well.
And that got me thinking about how we define our comfort zones. I’ve always thought it was just about what I’m good at. Writing a blog? In the zone. Singing a solo at church? Waaaay out. But I think there’s more to it than my gifts and talents. My zone also includes things like free time, committment to others, emotional wellbeing and spiritual growth.
A task–say doing the church newsletter–might be firmly in my talent comfort zone, but could be way out of my free time comfort zone. If I took it on, I’d have to give up something else to make room for it, which could be uncomfortable. Or I could offer to lead a Bible study–well inside my social comfort zone, but perhaps a step outside my spiritual zone.
I’ve often thought it seemed odd that God would give us all talents and abilities, then expect us to get outside our comfort zones by tackling things we aren’t good at. But I’m coming to realize, doing the things I’m good at can still push me beyond the place I’m most comfortable.
Maybe it’s not about trying things I’m not good at. Maybe it’s about doing things I’m good at for God’s pleasure, rather than my own.