If you haven’t experienced it yet you will, trust me you will. It’s a feeling that you’ve been doing the same thing over and over again and nothing is going to change. It may be your marriage or your job. It may be your TV watching or your choice of food. Not only is it predictable but quite frankly it is boring. Change would be great but it also would be risky. For now maybe it’s best to play it safe, to be bored and predictable, at least you know what to expect.
Vanilla or passion fruit, plain or BBQ how adventurous are you?
It’s so easy to assume the no spice, no special flavour types of people are boring, predictable, stuck in a rut while missing the fact that the lots of spice, lots of flavour types of people are also stuck in a rut. It lacks just as much adventure to eat the plain chips or vanilla ice cream as it does to eat BBQ chips or passion fruit ice cream every time you have a treat. The flavour or lack thereof is not the rut but rather the boring, predictability of never trying something new.
It isn’t a lot different when we turn on the TV.
The who done it shows have a lot of suspense compared to documentaries and comedies that offer a good laugh while home improvement shows are more practical. Whatever flavour of entertainment you enjoy will make up most of your viewing. Stuck in a rut, not trying anything new is not just a food problem. Bored and predictable is the way we watch TV often falling asleep remote in hand, our thumb pressed firmly on the “up channel” button looking for a show in the genre we enjoy.
The daily grind provides a break from the TV but it’s just one rut to another.
We show up five days a week and do the same thing over and over again. It doesn’t matter if we work on an assembly line or as a customer service advisor, a garbage collector or a manager, we show up, put in our time and leave, all so we can get a paycheck. It may not be fun or thrilling but at least we can pay our bills. Stuck in a rut, boring and predictable five days a week but it’s better than taking a chance on having no job at all.
Then there is marriage, it wasn’t always in a rut but at least now we know what to expect.
When we dated we tried new food and went to new places. The types of shows we watched together didn’t matter because every moment together was a new adventure. Work seemed to be fun too. It wasn’t that the job was any better but the days seemed to go by quicker. The honeymoon was a new adventure and the first year of marriage was a dream but after that…
…the dinner menu doesn’t change much and the list of TV shows even less. Our job and our romantic life aren’t much more than a scheduled task. They are repetitive but safe. We would rather be bored and predictable then take a chance that a new adventure may not work.
We are assembly line workers putting together the kids’ meals. We are customer service advisors as we try to help our teenager navigate life. We are garbage collectors as we clean up after the kids, which in some families includes the biggest kid of them all, the husband. We are managers, trying to allot the limited resources and balance the books. Stuck in a boring, predictable rut, just trying to survive.
Maybe everything in our lives isn’t as boring and predictable as I make it out to be.
Still, our unwillingness to try something new, to explore what may not be comfortable, is not only a part of our everyday life but it is often a part of our faith journey as well. Fear of the unknown driven by the teachings of our past and the limits of the doctrines we have embraced leaves us stuck in a rut, a safe, boring, predictable rut.
I understand that just because others claiming to follow Christ say that their experiences are of God doesn’t mean that they are of God, but that doesn’t mean all experiences out of our comfort zone are fake. Maybe it is time we step out of the rut so we don’t spend our lives missing out on discovering more of God.
Vanilla or passion fruit, plain or BBQ, it is time to experience the other side.
For my more charismatic friends, you may enjoy the building excitement of a corporate move of the Spirit of the Living God, but there is more. There is nothing like the sound of worshipers coming together to openly and out loud express their love for The Creator. That same Spirit, the same Living God, also moves in the quiet reflections of His people.
For my more reserved friends, you may enjoy seeking out the deepest corners of knowledge, the breadth, depth, and heights of our faith and our God, but there is more. There is nothing like a new found understanding of who God is and the wisdom He offers to those who follow Him. That same God, the one that reveals Himself through study also offers a glimpse of Himself through unscripted, unexplainable experiences.
Get out of your rut – don’t put God in a box.
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God is not stuck in a rut. He doesn’t interact or reveal Himself to His creation the same way all the time, so why do we live out our faith as if He does?