Five Minute Friday — Safe

I feel like I’m on a roll. It’s Friday and I’m working on my Five Minute Friday contribution. Okay, it’s late Friday … but it’s still Friday!

The exercise involves spending five minutes writing on a specific prompt word and then — the good part — linking up at Kate’s place (, sharing our work and checking out our neighbors’ work. That’s the fun part, seeing how others reacted to the word of the week.

You can join us as well. It just takes a five minute commitment.

Anyway, this week’s word is SAFE. The timer has been set, so it’s time to GO …

We ll have our safe zone … our comfort zone. We build it ourselves. We’re comfortable there. But sometimes ….

We have to step out in faith. It’s happened to me. It’s happened to you.

I was always a very private pray-er. I wasn’t vocal . I wasn’t comfortable leading prayers. I was a follower. My wife, on the other hand, was very comfortable sharing her faith. If asked to spontaneously lead a prayer, she would just jump in.

pastor-prayAnd she challenged me. I remember it vividly. We were at a bible study and the host asked Karen to lead us in closing prayer. She looked at me, then him, and said, “I’d like Joe to lead us in prayer.”

What? Betrayal! But you know, the words came — not easily and not necessarily fluidly — but they came. And afterwards, I was still breathing. I had stepped waaay out of my safe comfort zone and survived. …STOP

… A few years later I was challenged to not just pray, but preach as an elder. That was waaay out of my safe comfort zone as well, but I did it — not as a preacher but as a storyteller who shared the gospel. You know what? I was still breathing. I had stepped waaay out of my safe comfort zone and survived.

Since then, I’ve been asked again and again and again to fill in on the slanted side of the pulpit. In fact, I am scheduled to preach — I really don’t like that word — at Dover-Foxcroft (ME) United Methodist Church. {Please lift me up in prayer that the words I say are pleasing to the Lord.} It’s a new congregation and my first time in front of them. But it’s not too far out of my safe comfort zone anymore.

Over the years, I’ve been blogging, mostly about my faith and my experiences. Over the past few years, I’ve posted well over 600 entries and have made numerous connections with friends I’ve never met {many right here in the Five Minute Friday community}. If you asked me five years ago if I would be sharing my life stories with strangers, I would have resoundingly said, “No way!”  As a natural introvert, that’s not necessarily in my safe comfort zone.

I also share words of encouragement to my friends, family and prayer partners at least weekly and visual thoughts that catch my eye daily on Facebook. I’d like to think my small contributions help share the gospel. My circle has come to expect these nuggets and I have been amazed at the ripple effect.

None of that was in my safe comfort zone.

You, too, can do little things outside your safe comfort zone. The lesson I learned — starting with that first challenge from my wife — was it isn’t enough to live your faith … you have to share it because you never know who’s watching or listening.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: What I can do, I do with God’s help; what I cannot do I turn over to Him so He can work. This leaves me free to enjoy my life.

About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
This entry was posted in Five Minute Friday and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Five Minute Friday — Safe

  1. Tanya says:

    Oh man! Stepping out of my comfort zone is SO hard. Thank you for the encouraging post! (found you from the link up!)


  2. Jim Matthews says:

    Joe, I will pray for a great outpouring of philo Sophia as my instructor Father Vincent Zuliani would say. My senior year, I joked or cajoled in class. Ely my Mom would always tell me , I was lucky. I was a Leo with Sagittarius rising and a moon in some quadrant at the time of my birth. I weighed 1o lbs. and my Dad gave Mom boxing gloves at birth. I did step in the ring with golden gloves trainers in Paterson. But, being springtime almost graduation the PHD Fr Vince , I tested. ” Father , I said, my Mom tells me to buy a lottery ticket because she studied my chart astrologically and she claims I might win?” Fr Zuliani who was scholarly, boldly looks me in the eye and beseeches me with , ” Jim , you know that we as followers of Jesus Christ hold him to be our Light and Salvation. When we are guided by the occult and teachings based on man we falter.” He pretty much smiled after that knowing I was just kidding and trying to finish my senior year at DBT.
    Hope you follow sound teaching, Jesus came not to abolish the laws but to fulfill! Go forth and light a candle in the sanctuary.
    Hey I looked at a map. You are in east jabib up in central Maine. Some day I will finish my section hiking or perhaps do the whole AT. Dr Tom Eanellie and I began hiking 20 years ago in Sept of this year. He asked me to teach him to hike because I was an Eagle Scout. Tommy , I said all you need is boots and simple supplies and get out there! The rest will come into place. I was reading about your hike recently in one of your blogs. Yes, perhaps guidance from a friend and a compass are great tools. Vaya con Dios hermano. Jim Matthews 13 years later at Don Bosco behind you.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on this subject!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s