by Pastor Tim Burt
Ever feel like you’re boring or stuck in a monotonous rut? I suppose there could be a variety of definitions of what a rut is. When I think of a rut, I think of two things: repetition in what I’m doing, and doing something that isn't what I want to do most. Repetition in itself isn't bad. Actually a fair amount of routine helps us develop a more disciplined life. I remember back when our children were young, experiencing the liberty of routine from school because of summer vacation. The kids had the summer off. Most all our routine flew out the window. It felt good for a short time, but by the end of summer vacation we couldn't wait for the kids to get back in school so we had some routine again. Initially we struggled getting back into that routine, but it didn't take long for it to feel good. I would get my daily disciplines back and out of chaos.
I like having my daily routines, but like anyone, we enjoy spice in our life. We like the things that we insert into our life that add flavor such as date nights, being with friends, events and gatherings, vacations, and the change ups and spices of life that make life more interesting. Repetition isn't bad to me unless there are things I am repeating that aren't priority over things I am not doing that should be a priority. When I have that kind of repetition going on, then I feel like I’m in a rut. The logical thinking would be Well, just break out of it! If it were that easy, then none of us would be in a rut for long.
The Apostle Paul described his ruts like this in Romans 7:15 & 18-19 “I don't understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate... No matter which way I turn, I can't make myself do right. I want to, but I can't. When I want to do good, I don't. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway.” Paul went on to describe that this is how he acted when He was living carnally.
Whenever I’m in a rut, I meditate on this truth. I have the Spirit of God living in me, therefore I am not controlled by any sinful nature, nor am I bound by habit or stuck in what I am doing! By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can change things up whenever I deem necessary! There is something else I do. I have done this in various formats over my 38 years as a Christian. It has helped me more than anything else I can point to. It has helped strengthen me in spirit so that I could rid myself of the bad in my routine and replace it with the good. What is it? I have communed with God early before ever starting anything else in my day. I set my alarm early (although I usually wake up on my own) and as I wake up, I begin to commune with God, mediating on His promises and who He says I am.
Psalm 5:3 says, “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” Psalm 143:8 says, “Let me hear of your unfailing love to me in the morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I have come to you in prayer.” And Isaiah 50:4 says, “The Sovereign Lord has given me His words of wisdom, so that I know what to say to all these weary ones. Morning by morning He wakens me and opens my understanding to His will."
Isaiah 43:19 (NIV) "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland"
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt