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Renounce Comfort as the Ultimate Value of Life

Ouch! That is a jolting title isn't it? "Renounce Comfort as the Ultimate Value of Life" is a sentence out of a book I'm reading called If You Want to Walk on Water You Have to Get Out of the Boat, by John Ortberg... and it smacked me in the face....and I need it. He's absolutely correct, as living our boldest and best life does not equate to comfort. In fact, it's just the opposite. It most likely translates to being uncomfortable more than comfortable and trusting God with the outcome. That doesn't mean experiencing comfort is a bad thing or we need to live off the grid with no running water or electricity, rather, it's about not allowing the fear of (fill in the blank) to prevent us from living outside of the boat....going against the grain....taking the big leap....passionately pursuing our wildest dreams and living our boldest and best lives!

Here's are some of my favorite excerpts from Chapter 1:

  • If you want to be a 'water walker', fear will never go away. You have to get out of the boat a little every day. There is danger in getting out of the boat. But there is danger staying in it as well. If you live in the boat---whatever your boat happens to be--you will eventually die of boredom and stagnation. Everything is risky and there is danger in and out of the boat. Larry Laudan, a philosopher of science, has spent the last decade studying risk-management. He writes how we live in a society so driven by fear that we suffer from what he calls risk-lock--a condition like gridlock, leaving us unable to do anything or go anywhere. He concludes that everything is risky. You can stay at home in bed--but that may make you one of the half million Americans who require emergency room treatment each year for injuries while falling out of bed. Or, you can hide your money under the mattress--but that may make you one of the tens of thousands of people who go to the emergency room each year because of wounds caused by handling money--everything from paper cuts to hernias.

  • Each time you get out of the boat, you become a little more likely to do it the next time. It's not that the fear goes away, but you get used to living with fear (not in fear). You realize that fear does not have the power to destroy you. On the other hand, every time you resist that voice, every time you choose to stay in the boat rather than heed the call, the voice gets quieter and quieter. Then at last, you don't hear the call at all.

  • When we get out of the boat we grow, and it will involve going into a new territory and taking on a new challenge. As long as you continue to grow, the fear will never go away, but fear and growth go together like macaroni and cheese. It's a package deal. The decision to grow always involves a choice between risk and comfort. To be a water-walker, you must renounce comfort as the ultimate value of your life...and when the desire for comfort creeps in, there is no guarantee that life IN the boat is going to be safer. Risk and comfort tend to grow into a habit.

  • You are made for something more than merely avoiding failure. Failure is not an event, but rather a judgement about an event. Failure is not something that happens to us or a label we attach to things, it is a way we think about outcomes.

In summary, you were created to be more than a passenger in the boat. You were created to do more and be more! You are called to greatness but you can't do that comfortably inside the boat. Take a step toward living your boldest, best life and begin your your journey out of the boat and walking on the water!!!



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