Break from Routine

Mornings came early in seminary. I had to be at the cafeteria by 5:30 a.m. to work my shift. I also babysat, cleaned houses, and fulfilled National Guard duties. Between classes and odd jobs, there was little study time and practically no down time whatsoever. Class attendance was expected. Chapel attendance was optional. I hope you will not judge me too harshly, but sometimes I would skip chapel in favor of the $.99 all you can eat biscuits and gravy at a local restaurant. I will say I was not the only seminarian occasionally feasting on downhome cooking rather than the Word during the chapel hour.

Yet one chapel comes to mind as I think about the New Year. The chaplain spoke during this particular service. Our campus had signs posted that read, "Please walk on the grass but don't make paths." I can't remember the specific Bible text he used, but the chaplain said we should pay attention to the grass signs and apply the principle to our lives.

He suggested we should trod on the vast open spaces and explore all ministry has to offer. We ought to try different experiences and undertake new fields of study. We should set out in our own direction led by God and not follow blindly down paths made by others.

Well-worn paths eventually lead to ruts. A friend of mine quotes another when she says, "We often mistake the edge of the rut for the horizon." Are you in a rut? As we begin this New Year, ask God to show you the horizon and point you in the right direction. Pray He gives you strength to crawl out of the rut and the courage to walk where there is no path. Here are five simple suggestions to shake things up in the New Year if you are spiritually stuck:

  1. Breakout of your old routine. Often we go through life on cruise control. Schedule time off to reconnect with your family or God.
  2. Join or start a new missions or ministry group at church. Listen to fresh faith stories as you engage with new friends.
  3. Realize God’s best for you lies just beyond your comfort zone. Tell God you are ready and willing to step out by faith. Then watch for opportunities He brings your way.
  4. Reflect on your life. Does fear keep you trapped in a rut? Revisit 2 Timothy 1:7. God has not given us a spirit of fear.
  5. Stay committed and trust God. Continue to pray and study His Word. Ask God for direction and perseverance.

I look forward to seeing you on the journey in 2018!


I am tired of trudging through the ruts. I don’t want to be caught up in doing good things and yet fail to follow You. I want to experience Your presence and power in my life. Shift my priorities to Your values. Align my life with Your will. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.



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