I am a plain girl; nothing fancy about me. As a much younger girl I was known as a tomboy. I would much rather be outside playing then fixing my hair, or doing my nails or whatever. I have outgrown that somewhat although I still like being outdoors. As I grew up my choice of hot drink was hot chocolate and hot tea. I never acquired a taste for coffee. When I was younger I would drink just plain tea; nothing special. Give me a Lipton tea bag and I am fine. Later on Constant Comment came along which was a tea with orange rinds and sweet spices. I enjoyed that one and I soon found it on my list of teas to drink. After I got married and was a little older tea with fruit came along. I always said if I wanted to drink a fruit drink I would drink one, but I want tea. So, for many years I left them alone. Then one of my friends introduced me to Green Tea while in Indiana. It wasn’t bad. Eventually I acquired a taste for that and added that to my list. One of my favorite drinks is Green Tea with Raspberry (yes that is a fruit). Recently, people have encouraged me to drink different flavored teas; I have been hesitant, but reluctantly have tried them. One of the most recently acquired teas is Kai Organic Tea that is made with Red Hibiscus Berry; now I am drinking flowers. My oldest daughter called recently telling me of all her new found flavored teas. Well, good for her. Glad she is brave enough to try some of the ones she mentioned. I just stick to my list. We had to go to a store here in Texas for her that had some of the teas she had acquired a taste for. She told me I could get brave and if I saw any she thought she might like I could go ahead and add them to her list. Her dad and I went last night. One of the more interesting teas was Mango Black tea. I like Mango, but do I like it in my tea? I got her one and was brave enough to pick me up one along with all the others she wanted.
Now the other thing you need to know is the first thing in the morning I want my ordinary, plain tea. I have saved the other teas for later in the day, but the problem with that is I don’t drink hot tea later in the day; its cold tea (mostly my green tea with Raspberry). So, my newly acquired flavored teas sit in the cabinet hoping someday soon I will come and rescue them. Well, this morning it was different. I went to get my cup of tea; my ordinary, plain cup of tea and there was my newly purchased Mango Black tea. I was anxious to try it, but the rule is I have to have my normal everyday tea first right? Not this morning. This person changed the rules and got out of her comfort zone and had that first cup of Mango Black Tea and boy, was it good.
Now, what does all of this have to do with faith? Well, God did not keep His thoughts from me this morning. He shared His thoughts with me. Years ago in my faith I was a plain, nothing fancy Christian. I accepted God and that was about it. People would encourage me to try new things, but oh, no I was happy with the way I was. People would say, praying is good for you. It will open you up and you will be different and you will like it. Prayer was for church time and crisis. Finally, I did get around to praying more and it wasn’t bad. I kind of liked it. So, I added it to my list to do. Then, people encouraged me to read my Bible daily. I didn’t have time, I didn’t understand it, I didn’t know where to begin, oh, I had a list a mile long for reasons why not to, but then one day I picked up my Bible and began reading and I haven’t put it down since. Then came Women’s Bible Studies, retreats, mission trips and the lists goes on and on. Each time someone would suggest I try something new I drug my feet and finally I would try it out and like it. My list of likes is like my tea lists it is growing more rapidly than I care to imagine.
When my mom would want me to try a new food she’d say something like. “You won’t know if you like it if you don’t try it.” How many years have I missed out on some really good teas just because I was afraid to try them? How many years have I missed out on some of the greatest opportunities to grow in my faith because I was afraid of trying something new? Several years ago, I was asked to go on a Walk to Emmaus. That was really out of my comfort zone. I knew no one going and I was going by myself. It has changed my life. I am not really anxious to try new things yet, but I know God has plans for me and I must begin trying new things knowing He will always be with me at all times. I recently had a speaking engagement out of my area. It was about a 35-40 minute drive; new territory for me. I have always taken someone with me when I go and usually they offer to drive or I ask them to drive. Saturday was not the case. So many events were happening no one could go with me. I know if I had looked hard and really made a dozen phone calls I could have found someone, but I felt God was leading me to do this on my own. I knew I needed to know I could do this. I got lost, but unlike times before I didn’t panic. I called ONSTAR and they guided me to where I needed to be. God and I did it and I would have missed out on so much good if I hadn’t tried to do something new.
The other thing God shared with me this morning was my morning routine. Like I said earlier, I just wanted my ordinary cup of tea, but by changing it up a bit and adding something new to my normal routine I have added something special to my life. Now I can look forward to getting up each morning knowing it’s not going to be routine. He also showed me if I waited to do those things like Bible Reading, devotions and prayer time until later in the day I would never get around to it just like I don’t get to those flavored teas later in the day. I would find excuses to put them off. By having my devotions, prayer time and Bible Reading in the morning I can start my day with something new and exciting and my day goes off much better.
I am still hesitant about trying new things, but I am better. I even recently tired a jalapeno pepper the other night. I know when I try new things God will be with me and He will not let me fail. I have learned I might be missing out on some really great blessings God has for me if I don’t try to add new things to my Christian life. Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” And then He repeats in verse 8: The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” So, I am learning not to be afraid to try new things and when I get lost not to be discouraged; He is right there with me.
If you are like me and want to be plain Jane I am telling you there are exciting things waiting for you. Be brave, step out of your comfort zone and push on. You just don’t know what you might be missing. God has blessings in store for us, but we might just have to move out of our plain Janeness to receive them. I am glad I did.
Dear God: Thank you for pushing me to try new things. Thanks for all the flavored teas and all the flavored learning tools you have for me to try. You know I am still hesitant, but with you by my side I can’t fail. Help me as I keep pushing my comfort zone smaller; soon I may not have a comfort zone. There are still new things to try and to accomplish with you as my guide I will do just that. Amen