Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Pushed out of the Comfort Zone

Often when we think of God we have this image of the one who protects, hides me in the shadow of his wings kind of God. We want our God to be the one who makes us safe. Our protector, our provider, our parent. This world is terrifying with all its violence and uncertainty. It leaves us constantly wondering. Will we be safe, will those we love, where there be enough, will my job be there tomorrow or will there even be a job for me? What happens next is never a guarantee and we want our God to shelter us from all of that. We long for his comfort and I believe he gives it. He reassures us that yes, this world is chaotic but he is constant. This world cannot be trusted, but he will be here. But I have found something else present in my relationship with God. 

He will not leave me in the cleft of the rock hiding forever. God does not believe that it is in my best interests to be constantly sheltered, hidden, and not fully present in this world. Let me just tell you, I find that infuriating! I like the shelter. I want to hide. I would much rather be a child with God, protected, easily provided for, with a to do list that leads to my betterment each day. I have not found that to be the way God works in my life. 

I have found God is the one out in front of me pushing me to become, a more whole version of me. He has no time to pander to my fears, reassuring me and making me complacent behind some white picket fence life. God wants the best for me. He wants me to be the most whole version of me. 

At some point, the foundation of my relationship with God became solid. I trusted him. I have found now that trust is there for me, he is ready to get to work. His work looks mostly like him being the one that's pushing out from behind the shelter of wings. He is done pandering to my fears. He's ready for me to live a whole life as a whole person and he doesn't want to waste his time working with half of an available Shannon. Can you blame him? He wants me to become all of me. 

I'm not so sure about this. 

I'm rather used to my masks, my insecurities, my ego. I'm rather comfortable hiding behind the labels life, others and I have placed upon myself. I'm not to sure about risk still. It doesn't seem like a good idea. After all, I have small children for whom I need to provide. I'm comfortable enough here. Doesn't God know that now's the time when the salaries and the 401-ks need to roll in. After all, I'm running out of time. I'm getting older, I need to plan and such.  

Yes, he knows. He knows exactly how much time I am or am not running out of. So understandably he doesn't have time to play dancing around my insecurities any longer. SMH, this is highly frustrating. 

I know that God knows me. I know that he shields and protects me in ways that are still completely unseen by me. But God also seems to have this plan for me that I just can't see at all. That darkly lit glass we're supposed to be seeing through? It's not even darkly lit for me, it's just completely dark. I have no idea where this path God is pushing me on is taking me. None of this seems like a good idea to me. He hasn't given me a 7 step outline, he hasn't given me anything but a single massive, uncomfortable, terrifying step to take. The risks associated, seem enormous. Mostly in the form of my certainty that I will fail and that it will put the final sword through the heart of my dying ego. Maybe that's his design? Who knows. He hasn't shared that with me.

What I do know is God has never been a comfort zone God. Not for me or for anyone else who has faithfully recorded following him. Check out the biblical prophets. He might put you behind the shelter of his wings for a time. But if you want to continue following him, if you're willing to trust him at all, eventually you're going to find him to be the one who is pushing you forward more fervently than anyone else. And it's going to FEEL like he's pushing you right off of a cliff! God has no interest in your limits or mine. Your insecurities or masks do not serve you, nor does my pride and ego serve me. My ability to look like I have my shit together to the outside world is not a fallacy God cares about leaving intact for me. He has no use for such nonsense. But I do, watch me cling to it! To safety and comfort and certainty, while God is pushing me toward, wholeness, love, unity and peace. He is pushing me to discover who I am a deeper level. But I am not sure I want what he's offering.  

Be careful what you trade when you avoid taking the risks God is inviting you to. It's far more costly than being the child making mud pies in the ghetto who's offered a holiday on the beach and says no thanks. The cost of not taking the risk God is offering to you could be the cost of never truly knowing yourself.

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

God already knows how powerful we are, are you willing to take the risk that he might be right about you?