I had an amazing job as a Middle East analyst. I loved the research and networking along with writing reports and giving briefings. I truly felt like a valued contributor toward our policymakers’ decisions regarding our country’s foreign policy. I gained expertise and respect in my professional community.
Then, unexpectedly, I felt God’s calling to leave my analyst position and to serve in my local church.
My husband and I talked and prayed for weeks. We both felt that this was of the Lord. Yet it would be a significant reduction in pay as well as the loss of job stability and retirement benefits. We knew we needed to trust God. But it was hard to make the decision. Why was I doubting? I knew God’s goodness and grace. As I wavered I felt unworthy of God’s hand. Why couldn’t we just take this leap of faith and trust that He would be there? We continued to talk…to pray… to talk.
Finally, we stepped into the deep waters of the unknown and I changed jobs. I feel like God had the utmost patience for my husband and I as we struggled through this decision. Our obedience came slowly but we eventually arrived. As a result of that choice, I have been able to walk alongside many adults and teens through the joys and tragedies of this life. We marvel now at our hesitation back then. Nevertheless, I look back on that time as one of our most courageous decisions.
Contentment in Comfort
I was so content in our comfortable, safe life. I was relaxed and free of anxiety. Finances were good. Retirement fund increased with each paycheck. Life felt right. Comfortable.
It’s like the pleasant “middle-C” key on the piano. Even us non-singers can hum a middle-C. There is little risk in humming a middle-C. It resonates easily and peacefully. I’m really ok with avoiding the sharps and flats as well as the glass-shattering high notes that would pierce my tranquility.
Many of us do indeed live amidst incredible comfort and blessings. Then God calls us but the temptation to remain resonates loudly in our souls. Herein lies the paradox for the path of discipleship. In my five decades on this planet, I’ve learned that a middle-C existence ultimately rings hollow.
God created us to live life abundantly (John 10:10)! People who “play it safe” regret their choices later. They eventually ask the “what if?” question….
What if I had raised the funds and served overseas?
What if I had pushed through and finished my degree?
What if I had followed God’s promptings to write a book….??
These are among the numerous similar statements that people have shared with me over the years. The far-away look in their eyes accompany unsettled feelings with events gone by.
How can we move out of middle-C comfort?
The path of discipleship requires a courageous life.
The abundant life God promises is so much more than physical comfort! We must sacrifice comforts for the messiness of caring for others. He has given each of us gifts and talents to use for His Kingdom’s growth. Your experiences, passions, and burdens uniquely qualify you for specific needs in ministering to others.
Much brokenness exists in our world. As we open our eyes, the hurts and needs become apparent. Family members struggle, friends suffer silently, and impoverished communities decay. God will no doubt call you in some way to care for others. Living a disciple’s life demands courage. It’s not always safe. It’s certainly not easy. But it is the path to take. Recognize, always, that our God walks with us.
How about you? Are you playing life safe?
Where in your life God is calling you to be courageous and step out?
Practical Tips and Tools
Maybe you are already living into a courageous decision. It’s now important to persevere in the face of the inevitable difficulties. Trials are a part of this life. In the midst of it all, passionately seek the Lord for His continued plan and for His resources. Pray. Study scripture. Seek accountability. Then we will truly see and truly move out of the safe and secure middle-C life to make a difference for God’s Kingdom.
Maybe you are ready to step into a courageous decision. What has the Lord place on your heart…
Change of vocation?
Write a song?
Foster an orphan?
Care for the homeless?
Reconcile with a family member?
Won’t you join me and wander into the sharps and flats of this path of discipleship?
Posted by Sharon R Hoover