By Dana Madeya-Levenson
How many of us freeze in our journey because we don’t know what is next? How many of us retreat back to our comfort zones when we become uncomfortable? It is no secret that what got you where you are right now was an opportunity that was outside of your previous comfort zone. Maybe you got where you are because it was a slow and steady climb, but what you are facing is far bigger than what you are doing now and would require an incredible leap in faith. New opportunities never exist in our current comfort zones. That means we have to reach for them. That requires stretching our current abilities and confidence to expand our comfort zone to include those new opportunities. And when we are confused and the world is a little shaky, perhaps, God is trying to get us to trust Him and our instincts…and just fly!
I wrote this (below) almost 10 years ago, and it is as relevant to me now as it was then. The difference? I trust God far more than I did back then. And through discernment, I am learning to take bigger and bigger steps of faith in times of uncertainty instead of retreating back to what feels safe and comfortable. I hope that when you read this, you will remember it when you find yourself at a crossroads between faith and fear.
“I normally wake up each morning and immediately express appreciation and gratefulness to God for another day…another chance to learn, to give back and to make a difference. Not today. I woke up crying because I am facing something bigger than myself and I don’t know what choice to make in this life altering moment. I can retreat and run for cover or dig in my heels and demonstrate Faith in an Almighty power.
I dragged myself out of bed since staying in bed and crying wouldn’t solve anything. While attending to my morning routine. I was admiring the woods outside my back deck when I noticed a fly on the screen, and it was really close to the edge. I thought if I could carefully open the sliding door, without letting it in, and then nudge the screen door open, he could fly out. So I gave it a try. He moved further away from the opening. I watched. He inched slowly toward the edge again. He took a few steps up…then down and then made it off the screen and onto the frame. I thought, “There you go…keep stepping. Freedom is right around the corner.” He stopped. He crawled up…then down.
He seemed confused. So I carefully opened the sliding door again and nudged the screen some more. I thought to myself, “He is afraid.” I couldn’t understand why he didn’t realize another ¼ inch and he would be able to soar off. So, I shook the screen a little bit thinking if he took flight and caught a breeze, he would allow instinct to kick in and just go. He retreated back to the screen with speed. Slowly, he eventually made it back to the frame again. As I watched this little creature, I realized the door is too big for him to see how close he was and he kept going back to where he already had been and felt comfortable. Being bigger than he is, I could see that he is so close that if he would just take a few more steps of faith, he would no longer feel trapped.
I believe this is how God sees us…how He sees me right now. I can’t see the big picture right now. Taking steps of Faith in Him and myself seems too scary and unknown. I want to retreat to what is comfortable and safe. The turbulence I am facing is Him shaking the screen door to get me to catch that current and fly. Sometimes the door is open for us, but we are too afraid and too small to realize the answer is just around the corner. Have Faith…keep stepping…don’t retreat!”