“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” — 1 Corinthians 13:11
In my role as a high school athletic director, I spoke for a few minutes to our school’s graduating class of 2019. My aim was to challenge them, but it was a challenge to myself as well. First, I must give credit where credit is due — author Jon Gordon shares the importance of either being a shark or a goldfish. Basically, a shark will swim out in the ocean and hunt its own food while a goldfish sits in his bowl waiting to be fed.
My challenge was for these graduating seniors to be sharks — as they leave the comfort of their high schools, their families and their homes, that they would strive to discover all that God wants them to discover. God has big plans for all of us, and too many times our fears, our insecurities and our comforts keep us from being all God intends for us to be.
It’s so easy to have the “goldfish mentality.” It’s easy and comfortable to sit in my own bowl. It’s easy and comfortable to be fed. Goldfish can grow up to 14 inches when they are placed in ponds. The largest goldfish was measured at 19 inches in 2008. However, most goldfish are only one to two inches. Why? Because they are stuck in their bowls. A goldfish’s growth is dependent on its environment. When that goldfish leaves the comfort of the bowl, watch out! Amazing growth happens.
The same is true for us. Growth happens when we leave our comfort zones. As the saying goes, “You can either have growth or comfort; you can’t have both.” Is it time for you to leave your comfort zone? Is God asking you to step up? Is He asking you to step out?
Have faith over fear. We all want growth but not necessarily the pain that leads to growth, because growth hurts. That’s why they’re called “growing pains.” God wants to stretch us. He wants to use us. I know in my life, when I get comfortable, I end up doing things on my own. When I’m uncomfortable is when I tend to rely more on Him.
As I often say, get comfortable with being uncomfortable. I even find myself praying to God to make me uncomfortable. I want to be used by Him and realize it’s His power and His strength that gets me through those uncomfortable situations.
Let’s learn these valuable lessons of the goldfish: Never settle; get out of your comfort zone; grow and become all God wants you to be.
Prayer: “God, I want to totally trust You. I pray that You will make me uncomfortable so I can rely on Your strength rather than my own. Stretch me. Mold me. Grow me.”
— Jim Good
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