Last weekend Than and I were taking a class at church and our Pastor was sharing his story of how God brought him there. He shared an excellent analogy about work and calling describing the Red Zone, Yellow Zone and Green Zone. He described it as follows:
The Green Zone: Responsibilities in the green zone are the things that you’re excited about every morning when you get out of bed. These are the things that fall in your sweet spot – things you love and areas in which you are gifted.
The Yellow Zone: Yellow is what I would describe as neutral. This zone includes things you are fully capable of, but that you don’t love or maybe even really enjoy at all.
The Red Zone: The red zone involves tasks that you absolutely DREAD.
I’ve spent a lot of time in my 20’s searching for the green zone. As I near the end of my 20’s I’m not sure that I’ve found my “green zone” but I like to think I’m getting closer than where I was a few years ago. I might even say that as I grow as a person, my green zone is also growing and expanding. Do you know what’s in your green zone? What do you do that breathes life and energy into you?
I find the yellow zone to be the most difficult. When the majority of my life is in the yellow zone I get bored. Antsy. Anxious. Frustrated. Honestly, the yellow zone tends to suck the life out of me possibly even more than the red zone. I think it’s because when I’m capable of doing something (especially things I’m doing well) I feel like I should be enjoying it because I’m good at it and too often that’s just not the case.
I thought somewhere in my 20’s it would all fall into place. I’d figure out what I love and then that’s what I’d be doing. I feel like I’ve been in the yellow zone for a lot of my life. Sometimes I think that it’s the next season of life that will finally be my green zone. For example, I’ll be in my green zone when I get engaged…or when I get married…or when we have kids…or when I blah blah blah. Yet sometimes, you get to that anticipated green zone, only to find more yellow…or perhaps even red?!
As I stop and think about it, I’m grateful for the green, the yellow and the red. I’m grateful for opportunities to do things I love, yet I’m aware that I must be faithful and obedient in the yellow and the red. And besides, without the yellow and red zones, we’d never know when we fine the green zone.
While I still believe that pursuing green is a lofty and worthwhile goal (after all, God has given us gifts and we must be good stewards of them), I don’t want to spend so much time pursuing green that I miss out on the moments here and now. For I believe living fully engaged in the present helps us find great contentment in the green, yellow and red.