Friday morning I got a call that the ducks we had been waiting for all season had finally arrived and were coming right into our hole at first light. It would be a textbook example of 'on the x' shooting. I was then asked if I was able to get after them the following morning. I just had one conflict - I had made a commitment by the middle of last week to run in the Meg's Miles tribute event Saturday morning. In fact, over 90,000 people worldwide made the commitment to participate. So as things normally go when we set out to do something new or out of the norm, temptations to stay where we are, to do the same old thing, are brought before us without fail. Choices, choices - especially knowing that the inclement weather in the forecast would soon freeze up our duck hole. I knew what I wanted to do, but I chose to stick with my commitment to run. The ducks would have to wait this time. I had committed to run to honor Meg and her family, but also to begin making some personal health changes, including getting back to exercising on a regular basis. I would not kick this can down the road any further. Saturday would be day one of a different and more fit me. I have heard those who were closest to Meg say she was a voice of encouragement and motivation to all she encountered. I believe that voice continues to speak to those of us who are needing a friendly nudge to move in a new direction.
Genesis 12:1-4 (NASB)
Now the Lord said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, And from your relatives, And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” So Abram went forth as the Lord had spoken to him; and Lot went with him.
The passage above is a short segment describing when God called Abram and his family to leave their homeland and travel to the land of Canaan. During this time, Ur was a thriving trade center located at a pivotal point where the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers run into the Persian Gulf. It is generally agreed upon that Ur possessed great wealth, and the citizens that lived there enjoyed a level of comfort unknown in other Mesopotamian cities. So essentially, God was asking this family to pick up their belongings, leave their comfortable and familiar surroundings, and move to an entirely new region that they knew nothing about. Leave the known to go to the unknown - we see God work in this way all the time to stretch us, allow us to experience new things, and give us opportunities to grow. We often refer to it as getting out of our comfort zone. Likewise, God was calling this family out of their comfort zone - the pagan cities of Ur and later Haran, to the land of Canaan, in order to start a whole new culture. God honors Abram's obedience to this command by establishing a new culture through his descendants, what we now know to be the land of Israel.
I have to admit that I felt out of my comfort zone on Saturday morning. It had been a long time since I had done any sustained aerobic exercise, and I had some concerns about how my lungs, heart and legs would do. This time of year I generally opt for heading to the duck blind with my buddies. And when the ducks aren't around, it's pretty easy to find something to do other than exercise. But this past weekend I allowed my commitment to run for Meg override my passion for the outdoors and the comfortableness of the familiar. In doing so, I experienced something new and fresh by stepping out of my passion and into another's for a moment. In fact, I was so motivated by the way I felt on Saturday after running that I went out again Monday afternoon. Look out - I'm starting to see a positive trend being set into motion! In fact, the fitness movement we are seeing in the lives of many as a result of Meg's Miles may just wind up having a huge impact on our culture. And I believe this would indeed make Meg smile. I conclude by asking you - to what or where is God calling you out of your comfort zone? - GE
PS - those ducks, yeah, they were still there on Monday, in droves...