Yesterday, I received an email update from Cafe 10/40.
Cafe 10/40 is a program for college-aged students to study and live in a country inside the 10/40 Window in preparation for missions work. It is not a missions-sending agency, but teaches its participants how to do missions in the context of a closed country.
And it is something I would DEFINITELY consider doing after Peru.
So anyway, I received this email, which included a "testimonial" from a former participant.
And one of the things she said was, "Did God ever intend for us to have a comfort zone? Or is it something we have just created for ourselves because we don't trust Him enough?"
That hits you.
I was never intended to have a comfort zone.
I was created to trust God completely with my life, following him wherever he would lead, with no regard to my own comfort or well-being.
That is what it means to pick up my cross.
And that hits me square in the chest because I grew up with training in achieving the American dream.
White picket fence.
Send kids to college.
They do more than I did.
And so on...
Now if my parents hoped that I would do more than them and partake even more in the American dream, I must be quite a disappointment.
Seriously, I am a college drop-out, for all intents and purposes.
I don't have a paying job.
I will probably never own my own home.
Marriage, the good ol' MRS degree, is not really a priority of mine.
And the majority of my priorities in life don't line up with the American dream.
I must be quite a disappointment.
But all those things that I grew up believing are the things that make me a success in life create my comfort zone.
I was comfortable in college. Seriously, my dad used to joke that I would be a professional student. I am comfortable with academics.
I know I would be comfortable with a white-picket-fence-life. Husband, kids, minivan, that would certainly make me happy and content.
But I would not be picking up my cross and following Christ where he has called me.
I feel like a comfort zone is the enemy to the call of God.
Think about it: we weren't meant to have them. And they are a convenient excuse to not do what God has called us to.
There is a song that I have fallen in love with by Carlos Whittaker called "We Will Worship You." The chorus says:
Save us from these comforts
Break us of our need for the familiar
Spare us any joy that’s not of You
And we will worship You
Let that be our prayer. Lord, save us from our comforts. Break us of our need for the familiar. Give us the strength to step out, away from comfort and anything familiar, to just follow You with reckless abandon towards the amazing things You have for our lives.
It is worth it.
Because guess what?
I am NOT a disappointment.
I am a volunteer missionary. I take cold showers and eat rice multiple meals a day every day. That isn't what I'd call comfortable. But I am also a part of leading people to the foot of the cross. I am sharing the gospel of grace every day. I am living in the center of God's will. I am learning what it means to be completely satisfied in God.
And it is better than indoor heating, eating Chipotle all the time, having money, and pursuing the dream I once had.
It is better.