Hermit Island is one of my favorite places to visit in the whole world. I haven't traveled a ton. But you know what I mean. Our family goes there every summer. It's pretty much the same thing. Year after year. And still there's a familiarity to it that I find so comforting. The beaches are the same. The amenities (for better or worse) are the same. We camp there. And it feels like home.
It's a funny thing. I don't think that I'm alone, when I say that I like to be in familiar places and see familiar faces. I like to know what to expect, when I go somewhere new. I like being in my comfort zone. I like routine. I'm not one to actively seek out something outside of my comfort zone. That's just who I am. And I think that God made me that way. Why should I?
But then I think about what I'd miss out, if I stayed where I'm comfortable all the time. I would have missed out on seeing Mary Poppins in New York City this year. I would have missed out on running a 5k the last couple of years. I would have missed out on meeting some new friends and going to some new places. I don't want to be the person who missed out on a bunch of things, because I had butterflies. Because, in the end, I really am glad of getting outside of my comfort zone.
When I first came to South Londonderry, I was way beyond my comfort zone. I was nervous about a lot of things. But one thing was so clear, when I became a part of First Baptist Church. It was a place full of friendly people who cared a whole lot about me and my family. And not just because I'm their pastor. I see them embrace new people often, and it warms my heart. They want to share the love of Jesus with everyone. I've been a part of this church for over three years. And it feels like home.
If you're looking for a comfortable place, where you want to be with people who embrace you and care about you, come. It might be outside your comfort zone. But I promise. It will be so worth it.
This is written by Kathleen Blackey, follower of Jesus and co-pastor at First Baptist Church.