Jesus’s call to us involves our leaving what we consider comfortable. It is not a blind call, though. Peter asked Jesus, “If it is you, command me.” That was obedience, not blind risk. The “boat” is that which produces fear in me when I try to step out in faith (Ortberg 17).
Ortberg says you should take risks in faith and obedience because taking risks “is the only real way to grow; is the way true faith develops; is the alternative to boredom and stagnation …and is part of discovering and obeying your calling” (27).
Parker Palmer: “Everything in the universe has a nature, which means both limit and potential.” Discerning our calling means discerning what we can and cannot become.
Finding our calling has become something of a cliche, and there is much bad advice on going about it. It’s still necessary, though. Ortberg has a good suggestion: our listening to God’s calling (presumably about our vocation) is more along the lines of letting our natural life capacities speak (63).
Ortberg provides a number of questions to help discern our calling:
–What do I enjoy doing for its own sake?
–What do I avoid doing? Why?
–For what do I wish to be remembered?
–How might the offer of money sidetrack me from my true calling?
–What would my life look like if it turned out well (63)?
This involves stepping out in faith, but not a blind-risk faith. We begin by slowly increasing our “spiritual comfort zone,” and the more we practice this the larger our zone becomes.
When you worry about failure, the most destructive thing you can do is nothing (144). When you do nothing in response to a challenge, it distorts your thoughts–you are hopeless, beyond change, etc. This creates a pattern of self-defeating behavior, which reinforces the negative thoughts.
Just improve one area 10 percent. It’s small and probably won’t make a big difference. What it will do, though, is change your thinking.