There’s a deep desire in all of us to do something great. God made us that way for the ultimate purpose of glorifying Himself. The question I’ve had recently is, what does that look like for me, for my family? How can we tackle an existing problem and make a difference? Who can we help? How can we share the Love of God in ways we never imagined? The over-shadowing question to these types of questions is…How can we navigate our way beyond the boarders of our circle of safe-ism and move more into the uncomfortable? I’m talking about the place where we take the things we learned in the circle and drag it outside to be exposed to new adventure and less calculated risks. I’ll be the first to admit I don’t yet completely know what this looks like for me…but I do know it requires a paradigm shift, faith, boldness, allowing yourself to dream a little, and being okay with doing something unconventional. My personality tends to fights this, but I presume I recognize it and that the status quo needs to be shaken up a little.
God uniquely created each of us with specific gifts and talents (and dreams and desires). Based on how we steward and sharpen those things will ultimately adjust the trajectory of our lives, our impact. To give an example, I’ve dedicated almost half of my life now to providing solutions to computer problems. Troubleshooting a variety of technical issues, determining root cause and resolving problems, ranging from simple to complex. Over this course of time, I have personally resolved thousands of computer related problems. It is now just a normal part of my life and can sometimes do it in my sleep (however, there are still days I see something I’ve never seen before). God has given me a gift or talent that over the years, through trial and error, failures and successes, stress and satisfaction, mixed with a little help and some training, has allowed me to ultimately succeed at what I do.
For me however, maybe it’s possible that due to my familiarity with my work and my skill set, I have settled into the circle for long enough that it has lead not just to contentment, but maybe some degree of complacency. A better way to say it is; perhaps I have placed a limitation on myself that Information Technology is the only way I will be able to safely impact the world. Maybe my identity has become too intertwined with what I do and less about who God has called me to be. Maybe I have forgotten how to dream and see beyond the boarders of the perimeter I have established for myself and safely operate behind.
This example, among other things, is a part my little circle of safe-ism. It’s what I feel comfortable doing. I have constructed and solidified the boarders of this circle over time, sometimes unconsciously, other times I worked hard to construct it.
I’m not saying my life has been free from risks. We have done some unorthodox things along the way, including adopting a child from India. However, after experiencing some time outside the circle, we ever so quickly find our way back inside without even thinking. It’s like auto pilot kicks in and we re-calibrate to center circle.
I’ve found that during the moments of stepping out and not depending solely on myself and my skill set, I have actually felt most alive. So why don’t we do it? And why does God give us those really specific skills and life experiences that don’t always seem match the subtle gnawing inside to make the most of the short time we have been given on earth. Why is it so difficult at times to see the path forward? These are the types of questions that I have been asking myself recently. I have an idea how to answer these in an oh so average way, but I’m not looking for pat answers anymore. I am ready to do something great. Something greater than myself that won’t look like me at the end, but Jesus.
Speaking of technical things, I believe our lives have a certain capacity, much like a hard drive or a data storage device in a computer. However, we are not limited by a maximum storage capacity, but only by time itself. I feel like we are only storing a few Microsoft Word documents on a 100 Terabyte hard drive. What are we doing with the limited time we have been given? Are we growing in relationship with Jesus? How am I submitting my life to the Author and Finisher of my faith? Am I holding back? If so, why? Am I setting the right example at home? How can I improve as a husband and father? How am I impacting the lives of the poor, the broken, and outcast?
Life reflection has nothing to do with bringing condemnation on ourselves relative to what we haven’t seen fulfilled in our lives, but instead is about asking ourselves the right questions so that we can begin to re-calibrate our lives outside the circle a bit. I have noticed that the longer the answers to these questions go unanswered (and unasked), the longer I continue my auto-calibration to center circle. I am convinced that our lives have a capacity for so much more. I’m thankful for everything I have learned and experienced in my life. I wouldn’t exchange any of my experiences, but I think it is important not to stay there.
King David learned how to be a king by working in a pasture, but he didn’t have a problem with breaching his perimeter and slaying giants. I know there is so much more outside the circle. We serve an unlimited God with an unlimited supply to easily satisfy our demand. I guess I just want to place more of a demand on His supply. Our “Willing Supplier” dwells on the inside of each of us and wants us to walk bountifully into our destinies…His destiny for us! It’s time to breech the perimeter!