We all have our comfort zones. These are situations where we feel safe and have little fear of failure.
For example, I am comfortable working on expensive scientific equipment, helping my husband install a garage door, leading a Bible study, delivering a sermon or even writing a blog now and then. Our comfort zones don’t form overnight. They are a combination of gaining experience and recognizing and developing some of the gifts God has given us.
Occasionally we are asked to step outside our comfort zones. This is what I am facing this year. My son is going to be married in December. The upcoming event will require me to shop for a “fancy dress and shoes.”
If you know me, you know that shopping–especially dress and shoe shopping–is about as much fun for me as going to the dentist.
That’s not the worse of it
But that isn’t even the most difficult task I face. I have to learn to dance.
This is not even close to my comfort zone. I tell myself that it is just a lack of experience, but I think it may have more to do with the fact that when I complete my spiritual gifts assessment, I literally score close to zero in the musical categories.
My son and his fiancée are special to me, and I would do anything in the world for them. Yes shop for a dress and even take dance lessons. I will be dancing with my son, and I know he will love me no matter how many times I step on his toes.
God’s gifts to us
God has a way of asking us to step (and maybe even dance) outside our comfort zones. God has given us all gifts that we need to tap into. But, we need to stretch those comfort zones.
And Women of the ELCA is a faithful community that is there to support you.
Imagine if you invited a woman that hasn’t attended your congregational unit’s Bible study to come with you. What if you asked the young women in your congregation for ideas of new ministries your synodical women’s organization could help in the coming year?
Is staying inside your comfort zone keeping you from answering God’s call? How can you step outside your comfort zone to expand the ministries of Women of the ELCA?
Jody Smiley is president of the Virginia Synodical Women’s Organization, former vice president of Women of the ELCA’s executive board and a member of St. Michael Lutheran Church in Blacksburg, Va.