No More Safe and Comfortable, Please


“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”  –Anaïs Nin

When I was a child in England there were many of those Jack-in-the-Box toys around.

Remember? The ones where you turn the handle and wait with anticipation for the somewhat creepy-faced Jack to jump out of the wooden box.

I always wanted Jack to stay right in there. He scared me with his gaping eyes, bright red lips and pixie ears. And when he jumped out, I was quick to push him right back down where he came from.

I find it ironic then, that 20-something years later (okay, maybe 30) I now feel like that clown in the box, waiting to be released. And just like those childhood memories, the idea of jumping out both scares and excites me.

I am in a season of feeling confined. As though my life is being held tightly within those four boxed walls and I’m desperately turning the handle, trying to break free. But that lid is holding me down.

Now that I’m encroaching on middle age, I think I’m starting to look back and ask a lot of hard questions, like what have I done so far that really matters?

And I’m realizing that life is over in a whisper and what I do here really counts. But it’s quite a weight to carry. It’s far easier to curl up in the box and live a life that, to the human eye, is safe, comfortable and so much more than the lives lived by so many in the world.

But in the eyes of God, what on Earth am I doing?

I have much to be thankful for. And thankful I am. But I am bursting to live a bigger life.

Not better.

Not richer.

Not with more “stuff”.

No. Just bigger.

A life that touches many.

A life where I feel from my fingertips to my toes. Where I find passion in my God-given purpose. Where I’m forced to take my eyes off myself. Where the daily mill no longer anesthetizes me and I am shaken to the core by the collective breath of humanity.

Where to begin? I have no idea. Sparks of excitement tingled in my belly earlier this month when Heather Caliri shared her story of packing up house and moving herself and her family to Argentina. And why? Because she wants to be “through the door, not knocking on it.” She wants her kids to “grow up knowing there are whole other worlds out there, whole other peoples to care for.”

Yes. Yes. YES!

Is it bravery to be desperate for that bigger life—to want to break free?

Or does it perhaps take greater courage to wait—to stay in the box and be still? To wait on God until the time is right to live that bigger life for His purpose?

I’m not sure. But I know God’s timing is perfect. And so I wait. Until He releases me from my Jack-in-the-box.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)


Image credit: Dithedy courtesy of Creative Commons.