Last week, my wife and I went camping around the west side of Lake Michigan, an area we’d never visited before. I fear we missed most of Wisconsin due to rain! It rained very heavily in that area before and during our time there.
We stopped in one campground for the evening, and in my attempts to get the van levelled, managed to get it stuck! The ground was very soft from all the rain, and we were driving on grass alone. The more we tried to get out, the deeper our ruts got. We knew we needed to do something different.
Along came one of the campground’s workers, and she suggested taking my levelling blocks – picture big, square LEGO™ blocks – and lay them flat in the base of the ruts so we would have some traction to back over them, and out of the ruts.
It was a good idea. It worked. We got out, stayed the night, and made it home!
This got me thinking, though, about how we get into ruts in our lives. Whether it’s in the routines of marriage and family life, or the way we ‘do’ church, or even the way we drive to work each day, we tend to create comfortable ruts for ourselves. Yet someone has defined a rut as a grave that’s open on both ends – not such a good thing!
We do well to be challenged to get out of the ruts we make for ourselves. God longs to give us new opportunities to serve him, yet we often find it easier to stay in the places where we’ve “always been”.
I knew someone once who lived in a very small community, and only left that very small community to go to a nearby slightly larger community about once a year. Change, for that person, was not welcome. Yet there are so many possibilities God can help us explore if we will find some creative way to get us out of our life’s ruts and onto solid ground that will let us travel – emotionally, if not physically – to new places.
Change can be overwhelming for some, so start with baby steps. Try having something different from “the usual” when you go out for dinner. Try watching a different newscast on TV. Try reading a different translation of the Bible. Try a new brand of coffee. These are all little things, but they can lead to bigger things that can really make a difference in life.
Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10.10, NIV). When we came to faith in Jesus, that was a big change – and look at the difference it made in our lives! Consider how other changes could make a positive difference for you. Find something to give you traction, and get out of your ruts today!