As I write this post I am getting ready to head to the airport to begin my trip to Russia. We fly from Charleston to Atlanta to New York to Russia. In the middle of the night tonight, around 2 a.m. EST, we will be landing in Moscow. I honestly never thought I'd go to Russia and now I'm am less than 24 hours from being there.
I have to be honest; I am not sure I want to go. I am grateful for the opportunity and blown away that I actually get to go, but if I could back out now I'd seriously consider it. It is cold in Russia, the police (according to the travel books) like to harass foreigners and take their passports. I don't speak a word of the language; I don't even recognize any of the letters in the alphabet. And I'll be speaking to a roomful of leaders I have never met with whom I may have nothing in common.
And, honestly, I like staying home. Right now I am sitting in my favorite chair, listening to my favorite music, drinking my favorite morning beverage. They don't have any of that in Russia. At least I don't think I do. They do have borscht, whatever that is.
I know that most mission trips are a lot tougher than what I am doing. We will be staying in decent hotels and we will have a translator/driver with us all of the time. The people I am teaching are already committed Christians and the Russian government is not out to get them or me. (At least they say they're not) We don't have to sleep in huts, ride in dugout canoes and fight off mosquitoes with machetes. But I'm not on most mission trips; I'm on this one. And I'd just as soon not go.
But I think that is the point. I think God wants me to go. I think he wants me to be uncomfortable. When I am comfortable I do not grow. When I only do what I know how to do I never learn anything new. It is out on the edge, when I am way outside my comfort zone, when I surrender and say, "God, if you don't show up I'm toast", that is when I find out what it means to live by faith. It is only by stepping way outside of what I like to do and what I know how to do that I learn what God created me to do. So in a few minutes I'll grab my stuff and head out on this new adventure.
How about you? Where is God leading you that is uncomfortable? Is there a conversation you know you need to start? Is there an opportunity you know you should take, but it would require you to go beyond what you think you can do? How is God stretching you today?