Does anyone remember an old story about the City Mouse and the Country Mouse? Two mice who were friends decided to visit each other’s homes and soon discovered they had stepped out of their “comfort zones”. The city mouse lived with too busy a lifestyle and dangers (like the cat!) were all around. The country mouse had to work too hard to get any of the luxuries of home and enjoyed too much quiet. They quickly realized that although their friend’s home was a “nice place to visit” they didn’t want to live there.
We are much the same. I have always lived in the big city. Okay… suburbs… but still a place where opportunities are, and culture and diversity are readily available. And yet, I am drawn to the country. I love the quiet of a forest. I want chickens. Fresh strawberries mean summer. It’s quite fascinating to me how the grass is always greener on the other side (be it manicured lawns or manure filled fertilizer), and yet we fall back into what is familiar to us. It takes a special person to step out in faith and go out of that familiar spot. I wish I had just a bit more of it.
I wish I had just a little bit of that “chutzpah”. To live on the edge, just a tad, and dangle my feet in the unknown. To be radically changed. Just a bit. Not too much. Because the fear of the unknown is too great. That cat does not exhilarate the ride. It makes me want to go home where it is safe. How do we gather up that gumpshun and try new things? Where do we get that radical faith? Many of those in history labeled as “great in the faith” or “radical” didn’t think they were anyone special. They just did what they had to do, and were rewarded for their efforts.
Francis Chan is a speaker/author I have been hearing a lot from lately. As I write this post, they are celebrating the life of Rev. Billy Graham in the United States. These men of faith didn’t do anything extraordinary. They just did what they felt God told them to do. The city mouse and the country mouse went to visit each other because they cared about their friend, and wanted to share in their experiences. Perhaps our efforts are built around our relationships. We care about the rights of the poor or the oppressed so we stand up against the injustices. We care about the next generation so we teach our children and love, foster and adopt the orphan. We care about families so we do our best to nurture our marriages. We care about our friends so we love our neighbours as ourselves and serve in our communities.
Maybe it’s not about stepping out of our comfort zones as much as deepening our relationships. Our passions flourish when we use our gifts. We get the guts to be radically different when we truly want to accomplish something that we believe in. Sheeesh… I started a blog! (I just had to ask for help doing an e-transfer last week! Talk about out of my element). (You can read more about why I started my blog in this post!) We stand up against that big, scary cat and then we go home and appreciate where we have come from. We are renewed by familiarity. Seeing things from another’s perspective is hard. My hubby reminds me all the time to do this. It’s not easy for me to cross out of my “happy place”. To go beyond the boundary and try to put myself in someone else’s shoes. But when I do… I am often rewarded beyond my expectations and find my faith stretched and strengthened. It doesn’t seem like such an effort when it means a lot to me. I think that is true for many who go out of their “comfort zone”. Perhaps we all need to just put a smile on our face, make the first giant leap and go for it!
Did you like the little mice in this week’s post? They are “felted”… a new craft I just tried (hey… I stepped out!) and the pics are on our new Pinterest Board under “Things we Love”. Be sure to check it out and give credit to the artizans who have mastered the work. They are soo cute!