One Sunday I was sitting at Grace Community Church, when my pastor, Jim Brown, made one of those life-changing points: If you want something from God, ask for it — and when you’re praying, pray audaciously.
I think God likes audacity and we know he likes tenacity. Put them together and you have a winning combination, not just in living a spiritual life but in living life.
How many of us just go through the motions of life without living it? How often do we do the unexpected? Take the road less traveled? Get out of our safe environment and routine? Do something we’re uncomfortable doing?
And not in the mid-life crisis dye-my-hair-purple, pierce-my-belly-button, buy-a-Lamborghini way just because 50 is out there somewhere. I mean making audacious goals for yourself and seeing them through. Or taking the bull by the horns when a situation presents itself, instead of letting someone else lead (except if there is an actual bull involved). Speak up for yourself. Learn to say no. Learn to say yes. Volunteer. Talk to a complete stranger.
Find the walls of your comfort zone and take a wrecking ball to them!
That’s why I appreciate what my fellow Gracie Nicole Blue did recently in agreeing to be on a new dating show, “It Takes a Church.”
Grace Community Church Lead Pastor Jim Brown, left, watches as Nicole Blue makes pottery with her date in an episode of "It Takes a Church."
I mean talk about stepping out of your comfort zone! I don’t know Nicole personally, but I interviewed her for an article about the series and from the sound of it this took a serious leap of faith.
She had originally agreed to appear as part of a series on dating from a Christian perspective. Little did she know she would be the central focus and that she was being setup — literally.
And to top it off, she was introduced publicly to multi-award winning singer Natalie Grant, the host of the show, and then some men she might like to date.
As much of a shock as it was, Nicole set aside her fears and doubts and went for it.
That is awesomely audacious.
And how about the involvement of the church itself? Again, I have no doubt there will be critics, but what a great chance to show dating from a Christian perspective? Dating for Christians comes with expectations of respect, chastity, chivalry and godliness. Does it always happen? No. But is it something we should aspire to? Heck yeah!
What’s more audacious than holding yourself to a standard and sticking to it?
So I ask myself, what do I do to wreck my comfort zone?
I have to admit, my job wrecks my comfort zone every day. I’m the type of gal whose favorite activity is reading and not being disturbed for hours on end. And I don’t actually like to talk on the phone.
Every day though I talk to people I don’t know. I insert myself into conversations and situations to observe and report. I take pictures of strangers.
And although the The Goshen News’ articles are largely focused on local events, we are read by thousands of people around the world. Yeah, take a moment to absorb that. I look at where we are being read every day — it’s surprising and honestly somewhat intimidating.
We have online readers from 135 countries. We are read throughout the United States, but our second biggest audience is in South Korea, then Norway, France, the United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa, Sweden, Brazil and Germany rounds out the top 10.
Every once in awhile I Google my name. (You should do that regularly anyway just to see all the fun stuff other people with your name are doing.) It’s shocking how many pages there are of me and which publications my articles have ended up in without my knowledge. (That’s audacity but in a completely different way — haha.)
I’m hoping my next audacious move will be to travel overseas. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and 50 is around the corner. And exploring Scotland might be a little more palatable for my husband than finding his wife suddenly has purple hair, a pierced belly button and a new Lamborghini parked in the driveway.