pushing our comfort zone as a spiritual discipline

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
    his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness. – Lamentations 3:22-23

Tokyo Beef

After Monday’s joyous Pentecost post – “Called to be Filled” – today I’m referencing another kind of filling up, great food!

I’ve mentioned before that one benefit of a service such as “Blue Apron” is being exposed to new food ideas, preparations, combinations, and flavors. Sometimes we really like what I cook, sometimes it’s not exactly our cup-of-tea, but the point is I’m getting pushed out of my kitchen comfort zone and I’m learning a lot.

In consequence, over the past few days Rebekah and I have enjoyed:

  1. “Sweet and Smoky Seared Tilapia with Kale Salad & Roasted Sweet Potatoes,”
  2. “Roast Half Chicken & Yoghurt Sauce with Potatoes, Zucchini, & Olive Tapenade,”
  3. “Tokyo Beef & Rice Bowls with Soft-Boiled Eggs & Roasted Broccoli.”

As always, there was new stuff:

  • Kale as a salad (the marinade was good but Kake is too chewy when uncooked)
  • Sushi Rice
  • Soft-boiled eggs on an entre
  • “Furikake” (seaweed and sesame seeds)
  • Thin-sliced roasted sweet potato
  • Sliced avocado as a seafood garnish
  • The “yogurt red wine vinegar” dipping sauce
  • Nicoise tapenade

Additionally, there were a lot of flavors I’m already familiar with that were paired in unique ways.

Defaulting to the familiar:

Seared Tilapia

My point here is that I – we – tend to default to the familiar in all aspects of our lives. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that, of course, we often need the comfort and rest and assurance in familiar patterns and routines. But we also have to allow room for more, for pushing the envelope, for embracing life in all of its possibilities, for getting out of our depth, for vulnerability, for moving beyond our comfort zone and engaging with new life!

In the area of faith – and faith is the prism through which I try to view all of my life – God is constantly probing, pushing, encouraging, even provoking. God’s point in all of this is that I was created (you were created, we are all created) with so much more potential than we tend to realize.

Yet we are content so often to merely get by. And so many people are nowhere near satisfied, and nowhere close to being fulfilled – yet they are not even vaguely aware of the potential we all have to know God, to increase our capacity, and to live joyfully in response to what is possible!

So, yes, I cooked a couple of cool dishes. Just a reminder that I still have so much to learn and to experience and to engage. Good thing I’m still so young!!


culture faith foodie gourmet life kingdom of God Live Like You Mean It

derekmaul View All →

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

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