Get Out of the Zone

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There are so many self-help articles and books telling people to “get in the zone” and discuss random steps and tricks to get there.  I want to share how to get in the zone by getting out of it.  What good is being in the zone if you are alone either at the end of the day or all the time?

It’s amazing on how easy it is to fall into complacency to just live in the “comfort zone” and realize that you are not living at all but existing. The comfort zone is just a curse in disguise and the real blessings can only be found outside and you can only grasp them when you reach out.

Although a comfort zone may seem right for a moment, one moment can last a lifetime of living with a void inside of us.  There is an emptiness that can only be filled when we keep moving, stop existing and start living.  Living a life that focuses on people rather than just on ourselves.  At the end of the day, when all is said and done, we need to ask ourselves, did we truly say everything that needed to get said and did we truly do everything that needed to get done?

It is important to have a mission, a purpose, a passion that lives within us that must be released and shared with others.  There are so many new challenges that show up every day on social media.  A lot of those challenges get viewed and responded to.  What about a challenge of a lifetime that lasts a lifetime?  Here is the challenge: Keep the chain of love flowing each and every day.  Invest in others every chance you get.  Your time is more important than your finances.  Money can always be earned and spent, but time is the most valuable gift that can be given because time is proof that there is care, there is support, there is love to give peace and hope to the person who is desperately seeking answers in all the wrong places.  When you live for others, you will find fulfillment within yourself.  Don’t wait for the perfect moment or the perfect person to help, make the moment perfect and make a stranger feel important.

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Complacency Conflict

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Stephen Covey has said that, “Fish discover water last.  They are so immersed in the element that they are unaware of it.  So it is with many people who become so immersed in an abundance of blessings and opportunities that they are unaware of them until they stop, pause, and reflect and allow gratitude to emerge.  Sadly, too often it takes the force of circumstance rather than the force of conscience to stir up our gratitude.”  Whether you acknowledge this or not, every day is a gift from God.  All too often, we just go through the motions and use all of our energy to focus on ourselves.  We place our careers and finances first in our lives, then family and friends, and maybe, if we are not too busy, we just might squeeze an hour or so of God in our lives every Sunday.  My question is how is that working out for you?  Can you honestly say that you are satisfied with everything you do and with everything you have or is it never enough?  The music we listen to and the movies and television shows we watch influence our thoughts.  “Watch your thoughts, for they become words.  Watch your words, for they become actions.  Watch your actions, for they become habits.  Watch your habits, for they become character.  Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”  A question Dr. Seuss once asked still applies to people of all ages today, “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”  We are called to be different.  When we choose to fit in to our culture, we declare that Jesus Christ is not enough.

Complacency has become a huge mountain in American society that is easy to conform to and difficult to resist and hinders the path of people living a truly meaningful life.  In Matthew 17:20, Jesus declares, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you.”  There is a Chinese proverb that says, “The man who moved a mountain was the one who began carrying away small stones.”  What stones need to be carried to move the mountain of complacency?  We find the answer in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  We need to receive the vision of God’s kingdom, become overwhelmed by God’s grace and move in this world and not let the world move us.  It is time to stop acting religious and start living out what we truly believe.  We need to get out of the routine and do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God!

In Matthew 13:44, Jesus gives a parable, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”  A teaching pastor at the Edge Church had this in his message, “When we accept Christ in our lives, we bring something to the table.  We bring our dirt to God and he takes all of that dirt and replaces it with His treasure.”  God wants us to take all of our filth of sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, hostility, jealousy, envy, drunkenness, selfish ambition and bring it all to the cross of Christ.  It is only then and there where we may become filled up with God’s Spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

True Christianity is a life change that brings a person to love unconditionally just as God loves.  All too often, we evangelize with the phrase “turn or burn.”  We tell people that they must repent of their sin or face eternal damnation with fire and brimstone.  Is it any wonder why people do not like Christianity?  We get caught up judging people instead of loving people.   We have been diminishing grace instead of expanding it.  I would like to close this blog with Ephesians 3:14-19 and encourage this to be a prayer for everyone: “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.   I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.  And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”