Have you ever found yourself in a spiritual rut? Since being a disciple is a lifelong journey, there’s obviously going to be ups and downs. I’ve found that consistently practicing spiritual disciplines helps to reduce the impact of spiritual ruts, but ruts are still going to come. Here’s a great article written by Dr. Rick Warren and taken from Pastors.com that you might find helpful the next time you’re trying to “dig out” of a rut.
“If you wait for perfect conditions, you’ll never get anything done.” Ecclesiastes 11:4, LB
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut in your walk with the Christ – same place –same thing – same responsibility. But settling into a rut is dangerous. As Will Rogers used to say, “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there!” What does it take to get you moving? There are three common motivators:
- PAIN: Often it’s not “seeing the light” that gets us going, but “feeling the heat.” You delay the dentist appointment until the pain is unbearable.
- PRESSURE: When the doctor says “Lose 50 pounds or die,” or the boss says “Improve performance or be fired,” that pressure will motivate you to make a change. The problem with pressure as a motivator is that it doesn’t last. When the pressure subsides, so does your motivation. There is a better motivator.
- PERSPECTIVE: When you see the big picture, or when you’re inspired by a challenging vision or purpose, you’ve found the best motivator of all – perspective. You realize that you’re wasting your potential.
Remember, “If you wait for perfect conditions, you’ll never get anything done.” (Ecclesiastes 11:4, LB)
4 STEPS FOR GETTING OUT OF THE RUT
- ASSUME responsibility for your own life. Refuse to be either an excuser (rationalize failure) or an accuser (blame others). Instead, be a chooser, and choose to break out of the rut you’re in.
- BELIEVE you can change! Stop saying “I can’t” and start saying “I can.”
- CLARIFY what you really want. Write down specifically how you’d like to change.
- DON’T WAIT for ideal circumstances. Stop saying “When things settle down ….” Do it now! “One of these days” is really none of these days.
Here’s a good REV magazine article written by Victor Parachin called 8 Ways to Get Out of a Spiritual Rut.