Wake up calls are very helpful - actually necessary in life. No, I'm not talking about the wake-up calls you schedule to come into your hotel room ringing you into consciousness in a timely manner. I'm talking about those moments that ring through your life when you realize you are stuck or that you aren't being challenged or that you have so much more to give and to do then you are presently even attempting.
I just had one in the last couple of weeks. I've been running for 39 years almost consistently. Yes, I dialed it down during my pregnancies after the 5th month to a power walk but otherwise it has been a part of my every day routine wherever I lived. You become a machine-I'm not saying I'm in awesome great shape -- maybe just the opposite. I realized one day that I was putting in the time but my heart rate wasn't even going up, I wasn't getting tired and I was just working the same muscles, the same body parts and pounding the same joints. I was probably not only not improving my health but perhaps risking a few of my not so young joints. How did I discover this? I decided one day to climb onto an exercise machine next to my daughter and "go for it." Yikes! My heart rate went way up, legs felt first like noodles then like lead and my arms ached. I was tiredI The next day I jumped in the pool for further investigation of my plight---I tried to swim for an hour like I run for an hour. Yikes again! I found muscles I didn't know I had. Then I came face to face with the reality that it is easier to swim backwards than it is to go forward. How apropos.
I had been stuck doing the same thing over and over again in what was a healthy routine but not so helpful when it didn't have any variety to challenge all the other parts of me. As the renewal of Jesus 'true, hidden church is happening one sheep at a time across this country I hear this wake-up call resounding across the lives of individuals, families, groups and churches. They realize they were caught in a routine of faith---a seemingly healthy one but potentially harmful due to lack of challenge, unused parts and pounding of the same ol' same ol. All of a sudden the sheep are realizing they have muscles they never knew they had. . . they are being challenged to move outside their comfort zone, experience some pain, grow, be strengthened and find out who they are being called to be beyond who they have been.
The evil one will tempt you to stay in your comfort zone. You will consider that going back to the old routine was easier, effortless, less painful, unchallenging. . . .you will then soon discover it would be simple to go backwards rather than forwards. But Jesus your Savior calls you forth---He calls you by name---He is calling you forward. He is calling you out of that place that holds you back and forward to where He can move you out as His disciple.
Nothing will be the same ol' after that.