A few weeks ago our family traveled to the mountains of Red River, New Mexico for a family reunion. It was so great to see and reconnect with many of our family members; and, just as refreshing to us, was soaking in the beauty of God’s Creation and getting a break from the Oklahoma summer heat.
Here’s a picture of my daughter overlooking the town…
While we were there, my daughter wanted to do a big, scary, three-story challenge course.
And it was hard!
During the safety orientation, the course guides kept emphasizing the point that the course was “challenge by choice.” So, you only had to do the portions of the course that you were comfortable with – how much of a challenge you faced was completely up to you.
Before she set off, I asked my daughter if she was sure she wanted to do this.
My daughter looked at me and, with a sly grin on her face, said: “I choose to be challenged.”
And she did the whole thing!
It was a struggle, but she powered through it and pushed herself.
It was inspiring to watch.
And it made me think…
In what ways am I challenging myself?
Author Jon Gordon writes, “We don’t like to stretch ourselves because it’s painful and uncomfortable, but it is through discomfort and stretching that we become stronger and grow. When we stretch ourselves, we look back and realize that it is our challenges – not our comforts – that make us stronger, wiser, and better.”
I have experienced this to be true in my life, yet I am still tempted, at times and in certain areas of life, to settle or coast or take it easy.
The “pull” toward comfort is strong.
And that’s exactly why you and I need to challenge ourselves.
If we constantly choose comfort over challenge, we will stop growing and become stagnant – stuck in neutral without any drive to propel us forward.
And challenging ourselves is a choice.
So, do you choose to be challenged?
What challenge can you choose that will help you grow your connection with God?
What challenge can you choose that will help you grow in your relationships?
What challenge can you choose that will help you grow professionally?
What challenge can you choose that will help you grow more healthy?
What challenge can you choose that will help you grow in knowledge and wisdom?
What challenge can you choose that will help you grow in service to others?
The growth you want to experience in your life is just on the other side of that challenge…
If you will choose it.