What seasons of your life have you experienced the most growth? I had graduated from college and embarked on a journey to Springfield, MO. My brother and sister-in-law had graciously provided me a place to stay as I began graduate school. Flying out on New Year’s Day, I had an idealistic view of hitting the ground running.
The first few weeks did not go as planned. It took more time to get connected to a community than I thought. The job search ended with me at a school cafeteria and catering service. I found myself wandering and at times floundering asking God, “Why am I here?”
Comfort comes in various forms and fashions. Some find comfort in control, the ability to create predictable circumstances. Others tend to see comfort in equilibrium, situations and relationships at peace without any conflict. Each of us has our definition and image this kind of security and exportability.
Most of our growth comes in seasons of uncomfortableness. Those moments when we have to work towards a resolution to a conflict. It arrives in the midst of the unexpected changes and unforeseeable detours to our plans. We look for every way out finding no escape only to look back to see the grace of God transforming our hearts and lives.
Following the first few weeks in Springfield went from uncomfortable to comfortably uncomfortable. In that time, I started to connect with friends and embraced the opportunities. Christ began to humble my heart. The transformation that needed to occur needed to happen within me. Not the ideal vision I had thought, but the exact season I needed to mature.
Tod Bolsinger in Canoeing the Mountains makes a compelling insight about leadership, but also applies to each of us personally as we follow Christ:
The art of leadership is helping the system override the instinct of self-preservation and replace it with a new organizational instinct to be curious about and open to the terrifying discomfort of asking, Could God be up to something?
Our default responses to uncomfortable predicaments range from fight, flight, dismissiveness, stubbornness, and often blame shifting. What we might find is growth that would never occur unless we got outside of our comfort zones.
Today, I hope you can embrace the comfortably uncomfortable. The next time we face one of these moments or seasons we can ask the question, “Could God be up to something?”
In what uncomfortable season have you experienced growth? How might God cause growth in your life during a current uncomfortable moment?
Photo credit by Jared Erondu.