Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,--Hebrews 12:1

Friday, March 22, 2013

Sometimes You Gotta Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

The Run

This morning I woke, looked at the temperature, and decided my run could wait. It was 320 outside with a heavy frost and I had 6 miles planned. Normally, I'd have sucked it up and hit the road, but today I decided to wait. I mean, it's Spring Break and it wasn't like I had anywhere else to be. So I figured I'd wait until this afternoon.

That turned out to be a good decision. The temps had risen to 500 by the time I started the timer on my Garmin and stepped off under beautiful sunny skies. The run turned out to be my best since Sunday's marathon and one of my best in a really long time.

I averaged a 9:50 pace over the course of the run with only 11 seconds separating my fastest and slowest miles. For me, that's extremely consistent! Even on these daily 6 mile runs, there's usually a spread of 30 seconds or more between my slowest and fastest miles. When it was over, I felt great too. So, even though it was an afternoon run, which is usually outside of my comfort zone, it ended up being a fantastic run to end the week with.

You might now be asking, "End the week? On Friday?"

Well, yes. Tomorrow I'm headed back to Arkansas, home after spending Spring Break in North Carolina with my in-laws. The best part...I'm bringing my wife back with me! And that's where today's message comes from.

The Message

You see, my wife and I have been separated for much of the past 5 months. Not separated as in not getting along and thinking about splitting up. It was nothing like that. She's been spending the last several months taking care of family out here.

"Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." -- 1 Timothy 5:8

There was a need and she had an opportunity to address that need. And while living 1000 miles apart for the past several months was a bit of a hardship, it was our duty to set aside what would have been easiest for us and do what we could to care for family. The thing is, in the long run, not only will our family members be better off, but so will we, because we set aside what would have been easier for us in the short run and did what we knew was right instead.

It's kind of like that run today. On any given day you ask me, I'll tell you I don't like to run in the afternoons. But today, I had one of my best runs in a long the afternoon. Sometimes, we just have to step out of our comfort zone, and when we do, we can be pleasantly surprised by the results. I can almost guarantee if I'd have hit the pavement in the cold this morning, my run wouldn't have gone as well.
"If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them." -- James 4:17

And the same would be true for our future if we'd have ignored the call to help out these past couple of months. If we'd have just turned our heads and did what was easiest for us, we'd have paid for that eventually. Because as the verse above points out, if we know what we're supposed to do and we choose not to, we've sinned against God.
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." -- Galatians 6:9

So we spent a few months apart. Tomorrow that separation ends and we're headed back to Arkansas together. In the long run, we'll be happier and get along better than if we'd have refused to answer the call to help out. We've been married for almost 19 years and we look forward to many, many more. Those will be better years because we chose to do what's right instead of what would have made us more comfortable in the short term. In other words, we'll be better off because we stepped out of our comfort zone.

The next time you're faced with a tough decision, where you know the right choice but you also know it's going to take you out of your comfort zone, remember these verses, and remember today's run. Stepping out of my comfort zone ended up being the best decision that produced the best results. It's the same with tough life choices.

When you know what the right thing is, just do it, even if it makes things a little tough for a while.

If you don't know Jesus as your personal savior, if you're missing the faith, hope, and love written about here, if you want the peace that we as Christians have in our lives, please visit our Got Jesus? page for step-by-step instructions on how to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.

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