At the end of a long hard day what do you do when you get home? My favorite way to end the day is with a home-cooked meal followed by alone time in my favorite chair reading a book or listening to a podcast. That is my literal comfort zone. I am so thankful for quiet moments at the end of the day to reflect and recharge my battery. Being in my comfort zone renews my spirit and helps me put the rest of the day into perspective. But I’ve found that too much time in my comfort zone moves me from resting to roadblocked, from pause to pulling the plug.
Have you ever noticed the more time you spend in your comfort zone, the harder it is to motivate yourself to get up, get out, and get moving? It’s not just a personal opinion; it’s actually a scientific fact! Sir Isaac Newton’s first two laws of physics are:
An object at rest tends to stay at rest.
An object in motion tends to stay in motion.
Have you ever thought about this in terms of your own personal rhythm? The longer you stay in your comfort zone, the more you tend to stay in your comfort zone. The more you are "in motion," the busier you tend to be. In either case, you have to apply a force in order break free from the inertia.
The more often you are “in motion” living out your calling and leading in the way God created you to lead, the more you will be prone to do so in the future. But these are actually two extremes- it's not healthy to just rest and it's not healthy to only move. Good, healthy leadership is found in the middle of those two. Inertia is the quality found in matter that allows it to stay still if it is still or keeps it moving if it is moving. In order to overcome the power of inertia, you have to apply force- both to stop and to start.
Let’s use physics as a lens through which we evaluate our ministries and ourselves.
Are you an object at rest?
Is your church stuck in its comfort zone? As an organization are you doing the same thing over and over again because it’s known, comfortable, and makes people happy? Is your priority keeping the peace and protecting what is?
Are you, as a leader, stuck in your comfort zone? Do you tend to handle the same problems in the same way, using the same strategies that have worked in the past?
Are you an object in motion?
Is your church in constant motion? Are people weary and worn-out from programs and ministries that keep them busy but seem disconnected from vision and mission? Are you so busy working in the ministry that you never have time to work on the ministry?
Are you, as a leader, in constant motion? Are you searching for your meaning and significance in doing and action instead of being and abiding? Are you too busy to stop and consider the state of your own soul?
Are you an object in purposeful motion and abiding rest?
Is your church full of people in purposeful motion? Are your programs and ministries full of active servants connected to the vision and mission? Do you have a healthy rhythm of evaluation and assessment- where you reflect on what you are and where God is calling you to go next?
Are you, as a leader, in the midst of purposeful motion? Have you found a healthy balance of abiding in Him and living out your faith in the world? Do you take the time for self-reflection as well as strategic service?
The law of inertia says that a force is needed to cause an object to start or stop, depending on whether or not it’s in motion. I think the same is true with us. When busyness is covering over insecurity, lack of purpose, or distracting us from our mission, we need a force that causes us to stop and rest. When comfort and complacency keep us motionless, we need a force to get us moving again.
So what is better… to be still and unmoving or to be in constant motion? Both are futile if we’re not moving in the midst of God’s plans and His purposes. God wants us to rest – in Him. He invites us into His presence and gives us rest the world could never give. God wants us to move- with Him. He beckons us to join Him where He is working in the world – bringing others to Him as we become more like Him in our character and actions. Abiding in Him is what gives our rest and motion purpose. Allow Him to be the driving force in your life, guiding you when to move and when to rest.