On Wings Of Eagles

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Are You Willing to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone?

1 Corinthians 3:9 (New International Version)
For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.

How will the black bear get to the other side of the road? Will he use a parachute?
Nah! Bears don't have parachutes!
Will he ride a skateboard?
Nope no skateboards for the bear to use.
Will he run as fast as he can?
Nah! He would be hit by a truck!

So how WILL the black bear get to the other side of a four-lane highway between Banff and Lake Louise?

With hundreds of thousands of tourists visiting there each year make a 4-lane highway very necessary, but before this road could be built, there were some tough challenges to meet. With the area being so abundant in wildlife, a highway could end up costing the lives of numerous animals, to say nothing about the cost in human life. Instead of attracting tourists, such a highway might deter them from coming.

The highway could be fenced in, of course, "animal-proofed", so to speak, but that would permanently disrupt the migratory patterns of the animals, isolating individual creatures or small groups from main herds. Many of these animals are already facing extinction as it is, and splitting up herds would only hinder repopulation. What could be done?

This was the dilemma faced by the officials of Banff National Park. A highway needed to be built, but at what cost in animal and human life? There seemed to be no viable solutions.

Then someone stepped out of his comfort zone to make a radical suggestion: "Why don't we build wildlife crossings?"

As anticipated, he was met with opposition:

"That's ridiculous! How would animals find these crossings? They can't even read!"

"Unheard of! A total waste of money! It would never work!"

No one could come up with a better plan however, and eventually this proposal was tentatively accepted as an experiment. Fences built along the highway hinder the animals from crossing anywhere except by way of these "ecopassages", which in some cases are bridges over the road, and in some cases are tunnels under the road. The ecopassages are as natural-looking as possible, and to the amazement of many, they actually work. More than 50,000 wild animals safely cross the highway between Banff and Lake Louise each year, with no loss of life, either human or animal. It doesn't make a difference if it's a grizzly bear, a bobcat or a moose. They all find their way to the other side of the road without endangering themselves or the automobilists. It seems the animals welcome the ecopassages with open arms! Or should I say they welcome them with open hooves and paws!

A radical idea becomes reality to the benefit of millions!

It isn't easy to step out of one's comfort zone. We have become used to our often self-imposed restraints, and it is unthinkable to make ourselves think "outside the box"; but outside of our comfort zone is exactly where God wants us to be! He has a great task destined for each of us, and we can be sure it isn't something that we can easily do. If only He would let us size the task down to something that fits within our comfort zone, we would have no problems working to fulfill our eternal destiny. But that's not the way it is. God-tasks are always God-sized. They are always impossible to accomplish if we try to handle them on our own. God-tasks ALWAYS push us out of our comfort zone.

God guaranteed His constant presence in each task. He will supply all the necessary skills, the necessary words, the necessary miracles. But we must depend solely upon Him.

God will never force us to fulfill our destiny, however. He will encourage us for what lies ahead, and He won't strike us dead if we turn our back on His vision for our life; but if we choose to do so, we will miss out on the opportunity of really experiencing Him.

I want this year to be the year I step out of my comfort zone, Will you follow me? Step out of your comfort zone. Discover God's plan for your life. You will be utterly amazed, for He does have great plans for you, great God-sized plans, and they will only become a reality when you step out in faith and rely on Him for direction.

Dear Lord we pray that we would step out of our comfort zone and be willing to do the things you have planned for each of us to accomplish for Your kingdom. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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