Saturday, October 6, 2012

Running the Risk

Taking a chance is the definition of risk.  A risk involves stepping outside of your comfort zone and taking the chance that things could go a different way than you want or expect. 

Good advice is to assess a risky situation for all the possible outcomes and then decide if the reward is worth the risk.  Similar to the art of making a good decision.

 As in most things, it is easy to assess risk for everyone else. Urging others to move outside their comfort zone is easier said than moving outside our own.

The older I get the smaller and more compact my comfort zones become, accompanied by minimal desire to move outside of them.  Technology has a small area of comfort for me.  I embrace computers, cell phones and digital cameras . . . the first ones I bought and learned to use.  I DON'T WANT TO UPGRADE!  There is little patience to learn the differences from one generation to the next.

On the other hand who wants to be the old lady who gets stuck in the past century, so I grumble through learning the next level of technology.

Last week I was on a blogging hiatus as I traveled north to visit family.  My return flight had a layover in Austin where L. attends school.  Here my comfort zone of travel was pinched.

Time has a distinct zone; I arrive 'on-time'.  It is usual to drive to a destination the day before to assure myself of the location and best directions.  It is also usual to arrive fifteen minutes early and wait in the parking lot.  When flying, arrival is a full hour pre-flight affording plenty of time to check-in and pass security. 

This should provide a clear picture of how nervous I was to land in Austin, hail a Taxi into downtown, meet up with L. between classes, have the Taxi return for me with enough time (should there be any traffic problems) to recheck, pass security and make my flight.

I thought through all the possibilities; Googled the directions and distance from airport to dormitory, priced a cab ride and checked for additional flights should I miss mine.  If all the conditions were met we could swing an hour and a half visit.  As nervous as it made me the reward of seeing L. for just 1 1/2 hours was worth the risk of missing my flight.

When my comfort zone is breached I remember a pivotal point made in the Bible study, Experiencing God, by Henry T. Blackaby and Claude V. King.   
Often God calls us to take a risk outside our comfort zone in order to do the tasks he requires of us.  Those who are called make the adjustments and realize the great reward.  "You cannot stay where you are and go with God."

I encourage you to use the small steps outside your comfort zone as practice for those larger steps that are sure to come.

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  1. Another great blog, Sally. And how true is your points on comfort zones. And they do change as we get older. I have become more at ease at home in familiar surroundings. Your
    father has opened up his zone to become very active in the community. Fortunately, we both can be spontaneous in taking a worth while risk. Love ya, Sure enjoyed your visit. Mom

  2. Yea! for you...I am being stretched outside my comfort zone, but I haven't tried the traveling alone yet. This is great and reminds me of so much. I also haven't done that Bible Study in over 20 years...I might need to bring it out again.

    So glad you extended your comfort zone!

  3. Congrats on your stretching! Doing some of my own lately. It's not my favorite thing to do, but it does help me learn to trust the Lord more. Thanks for sharing! :)

  4. Wow! Good for you on doing that in Austin! I love that airport but I don't think I could have worked out all those details the way you did. Glad you could see your son even for a little time! It's always worth it. Trying to do some stretching of my own here. It's easy to shrink back and let things go by.

  5. I am so proud of you....Stepping outside our comfort zone seems to get a little harder with age but like you I am determined to stay up if for no other reason than my grandchildren won't laugh at me....of course every once in a while my 5 year old granddaughter has to show me something on my IPhone....but that doesn't count, uh? hahahah

  6. That's SO true, that last quote. Way to stretch yourself, honey.

  7. I love that quote. Truly. And I'm living it even as we speak.