Posted by: mikenicholsblog | June 26, 2016

a real need to break out

We are all creatures of habit to varying degrees. If we are not careful, our lives can become so conditioned and patterned that each new today looks nearly identical to the yesterday that ended at midnight.  This month becomes a replay of last month, and years pass by with little noticeable difference. One of the dangers of habitual living is the thwarting of any real spiritual growth and transformation in our lives. As I sit down to work on this article, I am sensing a real need to break out of some ruts which are moving into my daily routine.  The creature of habit is always in great danger of becoming stuck in a rut!

Two weeks ago, I was at a conference in Vancouver, Canada. I was thousands of miles from home, but still very much stuck in my daily routine. I was up and out the door early to make sure I got in some spiritual reading (a good rut).  I needed breakfast, and found a Starbucks for coffee and a cinnamon roll (a not-so-good rut). In arriving early at the convention center, I sat down amid a sea of people, the majority of whom were not American. Before I knew it, I was engaged in a conversation with a young man from the Philippines.  Almost instantly, he told me he was a Christian (an uncommon conversation starter) and it was obvious that he loved the Lord. As our conversation continued, he pulled up journeyonword.com online and read an article. He was so encouraged that he sent it to his Facebook page. I was challenged by my new friend’s boldness.  Thank you Elmo for being God’s instrument in interrupting my rut!

If you and I had a conversation about last week (or two weeks ago, or two months ago), you would likely be able to give me the ways in which you are conditioned to live.  You would tell me about someone who is less than fun to work with (and they will never change).  The discussion might then drift into the pace of life that is weighing you down (and never seems to change).  We would probably discuss how there is never enough time to relax with those you love (too much to do).  You may even bring up that you love God and want to grow in faith, but also how it’s just not happening (because right now you are only squeezing Him in).  We may even chat about how stress has become a constant companion in your life (and never seems to leave).  Yes, we could have the same discussions about last week, last month and last year.  If you and I are not careful, we condition ourselves to live in ways that are harmful both physically and spiritually.  What a rut we can get into!

Whether or not the things in the last paragraph sound familiar, I am convinced you know the areas where you are in a rut. I confess that I do! The question is, are we ready to recondition our lives? I don’t think for a minute the conditioned circumstances of our lives will magically disappear. But I do believe there is an answer.

In my personal reading, I came across a definition of wisdom that makes a lot of sense to me.  Wisdom can be defined as the mind of God revealed to us. In the midst of our circumstances, God provides the direction and encouragement we need for each day.  I don’t believe that ruts are a part of His design for us. Just this morning in my quiet time, I was reminded anew to seek wisdom. Seeking His wisdom will help us make the decisions which will recondition our lives. If you have too much stress, too little time, too much negativity at work, too much weight (literally), not enough time to spend with your family, and have this “just squeezing God in” feeling, what would His wisdom tell you to do? Remember, God is willing and always ready to speak to you.

In confessing that “I am sensing a need to break out of some ruts,” I wonder if you are also feeling the same way.  If so, will you consider doing what I am doing? Evaluate the rut(s)!  Once you sense a rut, confess it and seek the Father’s wisdom to change. Don’t let the next week, next month or next year look like the same old rut. Thanks Elmo!

Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.
Proverbs 16:3 (NLT)

If we can help you move beyond today’s struggles (ruts), please send us a note to journeyonword@gmail.com. We care and want to help!

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