Stepping Out

5:25 PM

Today was a sleepy rainy day (I always feel sleepy on rainy days). After school was over, I headed back to my room to listen to some Josh Groban. I thought that I'd browse through  Do Hard Things. Instead of just leafing through it to pass the time, I ended up doing an "intensive study." I got my Bible out, too.

I know that I need to fix some things. I need to be kinder to my siblings. I'm the next generation of Christians--I need to "up my game." I need to do hard things. One of my problems is that I hate to leave my comfort zone. I've always known that, but just excused that thought. "It's not a bad thing to stay in my own comfort zone," I would tell myself. "It's actually a good thing."

I was wrong.

God asked Jonah to step out of his comfort zone when He asked Jonah to go to Nineveh. Jonah didn't leave his comfort zone, though--at first. He had to be swallowed by a giant fish to have his mind changed. I can serve God while I'm in my comfort zone, but I can't serve Him to the best of my ability.

But "doing our best isn't enough. Do Hard Things asked the question, "What would happen if Christian teens went above and beyond what was easy for them?" That's a pretty powerful question. A big problem that teens struggle with (including me!) is that we only do what is expected of us. And that isn't a lot. Most adults expect teens to be lazy, stupid, smart-alec, video-game junkies who can't do anything. So we act that way. I know that we have more planned for us, though, guys! We can do big things--if we ever get passed the idea that we can't do anything worthwhile. There's more to teens than just parties. We've got a job to do.

I've got to make a change. Because if Jesus could die for me, then can't I do something hard--something that I'm scared of doing--for Him?

I know what "hard thing" I'm going to do. For the longest time now, I've been wondering about new kids. A new kid will walk into youth group and I sit there with my friends, laughing over a party the night before, while the new kid sits alone. When I get home, I feel a slight stab of pain. I remember when I was the new kid. No one greeted me and I hated it. I never wanted to go back. I didn't like the other kids because I thought they were snobs. Thankfully, seven years later, I have many wonderful friends! But when I ignore a new kid, I go back to those painful first months when I was in their shoes.

So, I am making a promise to myself (and my best friend, she's going to keep me accountable) to welcome the next new girl in our youth group. I personally would have loved it if someone would have walked over to me and invited me to hang out with them on my first day. I want to do that to someone the next time I see a new kid. It's going to be going out of my comfort zone--but I seriously think that it will be worth it. I may even make a new friend. Who knows?

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