Not My Comfort Zone
It is way outside my comfort zone to get on Facebook and talk for an hour in front of the camera, but that is what I have been doing each week since early December. At first I loved the idea. I wanted to be Bill Moyers when I was in my early 20s, so I thought it might be fun. I’m also working hard these days at evangelism, so I saw this as a great opportunity.
But then that inner voice of anxiety – the one that shows up in us Barrys as suddenly as a fire ant mound after a Texas summer rain – came quickly, just before my first Facebook Live event.
“What if nobody watches and it’s a complete failure?”
“An hour is a lot of time to fill. What if I say something in passing that gets misconstrued?”
“You’ve never done this before. Remember the catastrophe when you tried roller-skating for the first time?”
“What criticism am I opening myself up to? My Lord, anyone can watch.”
“I’ve gained a lot of weight. What will old friends tuning in think about me?”
“Why would I hold the first few sessions just after skin cancer surgery when I have a bandage the size of a small walrus draped over my nose?
“WHAT AM I DOING? THIS IS WAY OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE!”
It all started as something I can’t explain (maybe that weird Holy Spirit thing?) that began to bubble up inside of me in October. It got much stronger after the election in November and by early December it was crystal clear to me that God was calling me out of my comfort zone. In spite of my anxieties, I realized that I cannot do what I think God wants me to do in my 50s if I don’t do everything I can – to reach anyone who will listen – that the Christianity often portrayed in public life is not the Gospel that transforms me, nor the one I am staking my life on.
Since then, God has pushed me out of my comfort zone to speak more freely the truth of Jesus Christ as I understand him, to be more vulnerable, to love more openly, to hold grudges less easily, to risk mistakes for the sake of the Gospel, and then to risk again.
It’s a strange thing. The world is in really bad shape right now, and partly because of that I’m doing things way outside my comfort zone. And I have never felt more alive, never loved my family more, never loved my church more, never looked forward to each day of ministry more than now!
So, if you tune in to Facebook Thursday evening and I have the camera turned sideways, or talk over a guest, or run out of things to say, or delete the video just after it airs, or spill a cup of coffee (all things that have happened), know that YES, I am way out of my comfort zone. And that is a very good thing.
Previous "Faith on Facebook" Sessions (still available to view)
December 8: Fear and Hope
December 15: Dealing with Stress during the Holidays with Dr. Brad Schwall
December 22: The Shocking Theology of Favorite Christmas Carols with Tinsley Silcox
December 29: Faith in the Midst of Chronic Illness with Hannah Barry
January 5: MLK, Tupac, and Jesus with Dr. Michael Watters*
*I am confident this would have been the largest audience yet, if I had not deleted the video five minutes after it aired. Ugh!
Upcoming "Faith on Facebook" Line-up
January 12: A Minister and an Imam Have a Cup of Coffee with Imam Khalid Shaheed
January 19: An Inauguration Eve Primer: Faith in Public Life with Kyle Smith
January 26: Dr. Andy Stoker, Senior Pastor, First United Methodist Church of Dallas
February 2: Rev. Andy Odom, Senior Pastor, Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church
February 9: Kathy McCarron, Director of Children’s & Family Ministries, NorthPark Presbyterian Church
February 16: Catherine Cuellar, Community Leader and Director of Partnerships at Refill Wise