I’ve been thinking a lot lately on the idea of comfort. In the past month, I have moved from Texas, where I spent 24.5 glorious years, to a small town in the alps of southern Germany. Not only am I in a new country with a new language, but this Texas girl that is used to 300 days a year of sunshine and warmth is living in cold, snowy weather. For example, the other night I rode my bike home from a babysitting job. It was dark outside, 19 degrees (F), with snow and ice on the ground, light flurries coming down and I was freezing. I’ve never missed my 4Runner so much in my life. Talk about being out of my comfort zone. Life here is so different.
I miss Tex- Mex. I miss Chick- Fil-A. I miss Dr Pepper and garbage disposals (do y’all say Dispos-ELS or Dispos-ALS.. I say the latter and it always seems to cause an argument), I miss stores and restaurants staying open later and being open on Sundays! I miss my friends and family, and being around people that truly know me well. I miss free and easy access to websites like Pandora, Netflix and abc.com (I just want to be able to catch up on the Bachelor without spending a million dollars)! And boy do I miss my car. My precious 4Runner.
But as I think on the things I am missing, I realized that those are things that made my life easier, more enjoyable… comfortable. And I don’t believe we are called to be comfortable. Being comfortable means we are doing something wrong. We aren’t taking risks or trying new things or meeting new people. If we are perfectly comfortable in our lives, we aren’t truly living. We need to step out of that comfort zone and explore the world and other cultures, meet people that are different than us, take chances… and no, I don’t mean everyone should sell their possessions and move to another country like I did, but I do think we need to step out of our bubbles more often. Maybe it means picking up a new hobby that is a challenge for you, or volunteering somewhere in your city.
Yes, I miss my favorite things often. Gosh do I miss Chick- Fil- A and Tex-Mex.. I don’t know which I miss more. Probably Chick- Fil- A because I can’t get anything even close to it here, whereas I can at least whip up my own guacamole or tacos if I wanted to. Sometimes I just want life to be easy and to have what I want at my fingertips (first world problems), but then I remember all of the new things I enjoy about my life here in Germany. I love hearing the church bells in town ring every day. I love how peaceful everything looks with a thick layer of snow covering it. I love the towel warmers in the bathrooms. I love how easy public transportation is to use between towns, cities and countries. I love my new friends I’ve made and the family I live with. I love the church I’ve found. I love the backdrop of the mountains.
While I might not always be comfortable, I am learning and growing in a new culture, new country and new language. God is working in me and teaching me more about myself every day. and I love it.
How are you going to step out of your comfort zone this year?