Have you ever been in a job where you do the same thing over and over again? It’s repetitive! Dry! Boring! Every day you get up, go through the same morning ritual stuff, drive to work, and do the same job you’ve been doing for a long period of time. And you watch the clock tick slowly by. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?
Think about this scenario…
Imagine you’re driving down the road with a destination before you. It’s a beautiful day outside and you feel pretty good. You roll down the windows to feel the warmth of the sun on your skin and the breath of the wind in your hair. You crank up the volume on the radio and begin to sing along to the songs playing. Things are going great and your spirits are high. You think, “Life can’t get any better than right now.” Then all of a sudden an animal runs out in front of your car, your instincts kick in, and you swerve to miss it. As panic strikes, your car careens off the road and into the mud. Only shaken up, you put your foot on the gas pedal, but the car doesn’t budge. The harder you push, the further your wheel gets stuck in the mud. Frustration sets in quickly as you realize you’re not going anywhere without help.
Believe it or not, our spiritual walk can also take an unexpected leap from the road into the mud. It’s called a rut and I believe each of us has experienced it. Other words we could use to describe rut might be: humdrum, daily grind, or monotony. Have you ever used the phrase, “I have fallen into a rut?” Hence, life has become boring and unexciting. Let me ask: How come we quickly find a way out of the rut when our car gets stuck, but we seem to stay in a spiritual rut for long periods of time? As you and I know, nothing good happens when we’re in a rut.
We are supposed to be lights for Jesus (Matthew 5:14), but there’s nothing that will dim that light faster than being in a rut.
Let me make a suggestion. If you are in a spiritual rut, you don’t have to stay there. Here are three things that can give us the leverage we need to hoist us up out of the rut.
1. Make a change!
Change is often hard, especially if you’ve been doing something for a long time. But falling into a rut can sneak up on us if we become too comfortable. Just because you’ve been a Sunday School teacher for ten years, coordinated a women’s Bible study for five years, or led the AWANA program for many years, doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it. Or just because you’ve attended the same church your entire life, doesn’t mean you have to stay there until Jesus calls you home.
If you still find joy in it, then by all means keep it up. But if there is no joy left in your ministry, you are not growing spiritually in your place of worship, or you seem to just be going through the motions, then perhaps you need a change.
Change can be scary. Treading into new territory can be difficult. But let me encourage you to try making a change if you find you have fallen into a rut. When our car becomes stuck in the mud, sometimes a tow truck is the only thing that can pull us out. Maybe making a change is the tow truck we need to get us unstuck.
Do you need to make a change? What might that be?
2. Try something new!
I remember the struggle I felt when with my husband’s job transfer from Michigan to Ohio. Michigan was my home and we lived in our house for twenty years. My family and friends were in Michigan, and my kids grew up there. Honestly, I didn’t want to start over. However, our move was ultimately a blessing for our family. I met some awesome people, my son finished high school in Ohio, and I had new exciting experiences. Consequently, our move proved worthwhile.
One way to get out of the rut we’re in is to try something new. By trying something new, you might be able to use a gift you didn’t know you possessed, you will likely meet new people, you will gain new challenges in your faith, and you will probably have fun, which just might restore a joyous spirit.
And… you may just be singing a new song (Isaiah 42:10).
Is there something new tugging at your heart? What is it? Let me encourage you to go for it and trust God for the rest.
3. Look for inspiration!
One way I often look for inspiration is to read biographies of people who have plodded the Christian road ahead of me. Their stories of unyielding faith, strength through difficulties, perseverance in the midst of trials, and complete devotion to their Lord, have often restored a joyous spirit in me.
Just yesterday, I received a sweet package from a dear friend, which included her new book. It didn’t take long for me to be drawn into her story – a story of hurt, pain, and unbelievable difficulties. But it was also a story of God’s love, grace, and faithfulness. Her book inspired me to keep praying and to not give up on my loved ones who are in need of healing. The name of the book is When Life Roars, Jesus Whispers, by Kathi Waligora. Check it out. Truly inspiring.
Other ways to find inspiration is to sit down and have a heart-to-heart chat with someone who possesses abundant joy, listen to praise music, read a book of the Bible asking God for fresh insight, or simply ask God to inspire you. Finding inspiration can instantly drag us out of the rut and back onto the road of joy.
How will you find inspiration today?
Tackling the rut can certainly be the switch to keep our light shining, or the oxygen to keep our fire burning.
Hope these words inspired you today.