“No prolonged infancies among us, please. We’ll not tolerate babes in the woods, small children who are an easy mark for impostors. God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love. “ —Ephesians 4:14-16 (MSG)
A friend and I were chuckling about how tired we are of being shoved out of our comfort zones. It felt like a conspiracy. Everywhere we turned people including our husbands, children, friends–and especially God–were pushing us.
“I’m sick of growth,” I said. “I just wanna stay in my bedroom and read.”
“Me, too!” she said.
As introverts, we know our “comfort zones” are pretty limited. Appearing anywhere in public (church, meetings, parties, or even the back yard) is an act requiring much effort and consideration. It’s not that we don’t like people per se. It’s just that we don’t require much social interacton to internally charge us. We re-charge quietly and independently, thank you.
So, now we felt like God was stretching us just a bit too far. His focus is people. How could we be his change agents hiding out in our bedrooms?
I started to think we change agents needed to do a little changing ourselves. Not entirely, but incrementally, and with lots of grace thrown in. This was going to be a process. And God is not opposed to thrusting situations upon us to move the process along.
Be honest, introverts. If left to our own devices, we might never leave the nest. Our growth depends on outside forces–shovers–who do God’s bidding.
I recently got a personal lesson in this. While writing this blog, which is a theory on change, I tried to resist the actual practice of change in my own life.
Here’s what happened:
An opportunity to involve myself with people came up at church. I felt God clearly nudged me with the thought: “Go over to that new mother and see how you can help.” I, of course, resisted.
I ignored it. He said, “Go over to that new mother and see what she needs.” Excuses started rolling through my head.
I’ve never even talked to her!
I’m legally blind and don’t drive.
I’m not much of a cook, so I think taking meals to her is better left to someone else.
She’s probably got it all under control, anyway.
If I go over there, she’ll think I’m nuts.
I left it at that thought, and I hung back as people crowded around her and the baby after the service. Then, while trying to slink out…I got called over!
Someone suggested to her I might be available for backup babysitting, and I said, “Yes.” I’m actually excited about it.
You see…God knows how to use people and situations to grow us in the areas we need to grow in. So, why don’t we just skip the kicking and screaming part and go along with it?
Let me think about that (in my bedroom), and I’ll get back to you.