At the beginning of The Hobbit, the reader learns that Bilbo Baggins lives in a hobbit-hole; “not a nasty, dirty wet hole…nor a dry, bare sandy hole…it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.” Mr. Baggins loved his home, his garden, his books, and his armchair. In other words, he’s quite content to stay home in his comfortable environment. But, one evening as he sat down to feast on fish and vegetables, his life changed. A knock on the door and an invitation to adventure, turned his quiet, simple life upside down.
J.R.R. Tolkien created an amazing world in Middle-earth. While much of what he wrote was considered fantasy, he taught many lessons for the human world. As I think about Bilbo Baggins and the challenges he faced, I am reminded of my own life. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been content to be at home. I surround myself with treasures that I enjoy, most are gifts and art made by family and friends. Puttering never bores me, and I could read or write all day.
But, like the Hobbit, I received an invitation to live life outside of my comfort zone. When I made a commitment to follow Jesus, I accepted a lifetime of adventure. He called me to write, so I wrote. Devotions, essays, poetry, those are easy for me. Then he challenged me to write fiction, not so simple and every step a challenge. At work, my faith is tested every day. Even in the seat at church, I’m confronted by God’s truth compared to my sin. Yes, when I told Jesus I’d follow him, I accepted a life filled with lessons, challenges, and adventure. Like Bilbo Baggins, I stepped out and answered the charge. The best part, God walks with me and places others in my path and by my side.
My comfort zone remains a wonderful place for rest and reflection. But If I spend too much time in my secure, quiet space, I’ll miss out on the exciting life God has planned for me.
Has God asked you to step out of your comfort zone?