I was curious. I did a search for the term “comfort zone.”  I couldn’t find one example of the term that was positive. Here are some samples:

Articles were titled “Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone,” “Are You Stuck in Your Comfort Zone,” and “Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone,” to name a few.

The impression given is that if we ever have a moment when we are not being stretched and challenged then we are simply being weak and complacent. As a result, we always feel inadequate because we are never doing as much as we could be doing.

There is so much value in the concept of extending outside of our comfort zone. Regularly I am encouraging people to stretch themselves. I believe in living life boldly, as long as it’s held in balance with the benefit of enjoying times of comfort. Unfortunately, our culture has offered digital distraction as a counterfeit to real comfort. Time is precious. If we choose to sacrifice our few available moments when we are not working to internet surfing, binge-watching, or social media obsessing, then we will not likely have time to enjoy real comfort.

Comfort is a gift. Comfort is enjoying a glass of wine with your spouse or a good friend. Comfort is taking the occasional nap. Comfort is watching a fun movie or taking a leisurely walk or reading a great book. Comfort reenergizes our body and soul. 

We are meant to move back and forth from moments when we stretch and test ourselves to times of utterly delightful comfort. Too often, we are so exhausted from relentlessly pushing ourselves beyond our limits that we are unable to enjoy comfort. We can only vegetate. How sad if we are always driving, pushing, and never enjoying life!

Here are a few questions that challenge me:

 

  • Am I constantly exhausted? If so, this might indicate a lack of balance between work and leisure, or it might indicate a misuse of the precious time I have available for comfort and leisure.
  • Can I truly relax, or am I constantly in a state of low-grade agitation?
  • Am I reenergized by how I choose to spend my time away from work?

We need our comfort zones. We need places that are safe and time when we can relax. We are meant to stretch our talents, our faith, and our courage, but we are also meant to enjoy life and have time to love those around us. Take inventory of your time away from work. How is your time spent? Are you driving so hard that the moment you let down you fall asleep?

I want to live my life as a wonderful adventure. I want to impact as many people as I can for good and for God. I believe that will only happen when I find the right balance between testing my limits and enjoying my blessings.

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