Do you feel trapped? Stuck in a rut? Has life penned you in with no wiggle-room? I call that “mental claustrophobia” and that’s a tough prison. How do we get trapped like that? Some folk might say life has dictated our fate. If you’ve watched the movie “Anne of Green Gables” you could say it’s because of a lack of imagination. Yet others may actually blame God for it.
But: Is it possible that you’ve been afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone to accept a new challenge? Has God been asking you to do something for which you feel unqualified? Please know that not following God’s leadership, for whatever reason, will generate a “stuck syndrome” and the only cure is to step out and obey the Lord. God may want you to change your world.
Here are a few of the brave souls who stepped out of their comfort zone and cooperated with God to change or preserve their world:
- For 100 years Noah obeyed God, preached, and endured mental and physical persecution while building the boat to save both humanity and land animals from total annihilation.
- Joseph, sold as a slave by his own brothers, obeyed and preserved Jacob’s family to allow it to become the Nation of Israel.
- Moses, the prince demoted to a fugitive shepherd, obeyed and led the fledgling nation back to the Promised Land, and compiled the first five books of the Old Testament.
- The Apostle Paul obeyed and gave us over half the New Testament.
- Martin Luther, standing against the established church, obeyed and reestablished the doctrine of “The just shall live by faith!”
- George Washington and Abraham Lincoln fought king and country, and obeyed to give us and preserve for us the United States of America.
- Hudson Taylor, one of the greatest missionaries since the Apostle Paul, stepped outside conventional wisdom and founded the China Inland Mission.
- Pastor William Boothe resigned his pastorate, obeyed and gave us the Salvation Army.
- Blind Fanny Crosby obeyed and gave us over 8,000 hymns.
- The Wright Brothers, willing to sacrifice their reputations, gave America the airplane.
- Henry Ford stepped outside conventional wisdom and gave mankind the automobile assembly line.
- Unknown Billy Graham picked up a Bible and started preaching.
- Harland Sanders challenged the restaurant industry and created KFC.
- President Kennedy announced the “impossible” and sent man to the moon.
- University student Michael Dell built and sold computers from his university dorm room, then his garage, and created the DELL Company.
- Robert Jarvik disregarded church doctrine and conventional wisdom and created the Jarvik artificial heart.
- And it is our Lord Jesus Christ who descended from heaven, sacrificed his human life, was crucified, died, but rose again, to offer us eternal life.
These people stood up and created a better world for us.
Great benefits could await us if we dare to step outside our comfort zone. No, I am not suggesting that we put safety and common sense aside, and I am not suggesting that we stop providing for our families. But we may have an invention tucked away in our God-given creative mind, we may have an idea that could improve the quality of life, or we may simply want to reach out and expand our horizons; but we must be willing to take a risk. The risk can span the financial, physical, emotional, or reputational realms; but with proper mentoring we can break out of our mental prison. God doesn’t want us stuck. Dependable, yes! But not stuck.
Now, if you are happy and content where you are and with what you are doing, don’t make a change for the sake of change; God may want you right where you are. And if you place a higher priority on security than on adventure, then stay where you are. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with that. But if for some reason you are unsettled with life as-is, talk with a counselor or a mentor you trust, and pray about it. God may have something in mind for you to do. And if the Lord does lead you to change your direction in life, don’t give a half-hearted effort; be diligent in what you do.
But remember, God doesn’t choose those who are self-reliant for His tasks; rather He chooses those who will cooperate with Him.
There is no need to feel trapped or stuck. Pray about your situation. As you cooperate with God, you might change your world.