“Get Out of Your Comfort Zone”
This week’s installment of the TeenPact Blog is written by Brent Buterbaugh (OH). Brent participated as a student at TeenPact’s Advanced Survival Adventure Program (“ASAP”), held October 24-29 in Del Rio, Tennessee.
One of the central tenants of a TeenPact program is the dreaded phrase: “Get out of your comfort zone”.
In a State Class setting, this mindset is generally attributing to a social action which one would generally not be prone to do, such as interviewing lobbyists or running for an elected office. The TeenPact Survival programs bring a whole new meaning to the phrase, “Get out of your comfort zone.”
When I, along with 40 of my soon-to-be closest friends entered a remote valley in Del Rio, TN, we exited the realm of luxury. In our modern, technology-enriched lives, we rarely experience physical discomfort. At the Advanced Survival Adventure Program, we awoke each morning lying on the cold, hard ground, often weary from a difficult night of sleep. As we stood to leave our primitive shelters, brushing the leaves off of our backs, we heard the melodious sound of voices raised in worship to the Lord, and we stumbled, half-asleep to join our brothers and sisters around the campfire.
Unlike other TeenPact events, there were no morning showers or time spent in front of a mirror combing our hair. We came to the campfire each morning just as we were, casting hardly a thought to physical appearance, to worship our God together.
How wonderful would it be if we took this attitude in everyday life? If we realized that we do not need to be perfect before we come before God? Think about this: A campfire takes imperfect sticks and transforms them into a sight that is truly awesome to behold. The sticks are dead and dark, yet the fire uses them for good to bring light and warmth to a dark and gloomy world. In the same way God takes sinful human beings, and binds us together in the church so that our light might shine before the world.
To extend this idea further, being engaged in a church and in regular fellowship with other believers is a critical part of our lives as Christians. If you take one log or one ember out of the fire, it might continue to glow and burn for a short time, but it cannot be sustained. However, if you place it in the fire, it will burn brighter and more fiercely than before. As Christians, we must take seriously our role in the growth of our fellow believers so that we might shine as light in the darkness.
“As Christians, we must take seriously our role in the growth of our fellow believers so that we might shine as light in the darkness.”
“ASAP” was a demanding and stretching week — physically, mentally, relationally, and spiritually. But it was entirely worth it because I experienced tremendous growth in all of these areas. Here is something that I learned: It is at my weakest point that I can grow the most, because He is strong.
“It is at my weakest point that I can grow the most, because He is strong.”
There is a reason that TeenPact stresses this idea of “getting out of your comfort zone”. It’s not simply to make you feel uncomfortable, or to push you to be less shy. But it truly is intended for your own personal benefit, that you might be able to grow and mature, to become more like Christ.