Been Stuck in a Rut?

Been Stuck in a RutEverybody is visited by depression, lethargy, and moodiness. Like the Bible says, it’s not being tempted by sin that’s the problem, everybody’s tempted; it’s yielding to sin’s temptation that gets you stuck in a rut. Like depression, lethargy, and moodiness, it all depends on how long you decide to visit them.  Visiting them for extended periods of time and you’re gonna see grass growing under your feet and between your toes.  Professional help is available and they help sort out what’s ailing you, but ultimately it’s up to you to do the changing to get yourself better.


wheel“Stuck In A Rut” was an old 1800’s phrase coined when covered wagons got their wheels stuck in a ‘rut’ or worn groove in their path or road.  They would often rock their wagon, buggy or mode of transportation back-and-forth, sometimes with a personal push, to get the vehicle out of the rut.  Today we often use the phrase referencing the feeling of doing the same thing over-and-over which leads to boredom.  Some businesses making a $100 million a year without any gain complain that they’re ‘stuck in a rut’.  What rut to be stuck in?     

 People who have a few years under their belt come to realize, that most of our “personal” problems are self-inflicted. Health concerns are a medical matter. Life’s problems are often focused too much on us, and too little attention focused on others. D.L.Moody had trouble getting to sleep if he hadn’t witnessed to someone or tried to help someone every day. Jesus didn’t complain about all the splinters and calluses he suffered from being a carpenter. Peter the apostle was a professional fisherman and he was good at his trade, so good that Jesus told him that he would be a “fisher of men”. What an insightful observation that came true over and over.

It is a certainty that if you dwell on yourself exclusively, your ego will become as large as the great outdoors and you will grow to neglect others and be self-consumed with your own uncomfortable situation. “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” Ephesians 5:17 Use your time here on earth wisely.  Paul was saying “the days are evil”, they still are, so we need the same sense of urgency to keep our standards high, act wisely, and do good whenever and wherever we can.  Apart from God life is fleeting and empty.

Bottom Line

If your mountain bike gets a flat and you’re without a spare tube, stuff the tire with grass.  Leave one side of the tire bead on the rim, pack the inside with wads of turf, and then pop in the other bead.  It’ll save your wheel until you get home or help.  Wallah!  You’re out of another rut.

Have You seen This Animal?

Have you seen this animal

tasmanian-tiger

If you have seen this animal, please report it to your local zoo authorities.  On the other hand, it might be a million-to-one shot.  The animal in the picture is a striped meat-eating Tasmanian tiger.  Most experts agree the last one died in a zoo in 1936, yet there are still some who hold out hope.  Hope what?  Hope that there are no more meat-eating tigers on the loose?  Hope that there might be a large bounty for its capture.  Hope to hang it on a trophy wall?  Throughout history, man has imprisoned and killed animals, mostly the human kind.  Does it matter to you one way or the other?  It should.  Why?  Because hope is one of the most powerful things “in the Bible” and “out of the Bible”.

Scripture says:

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer”.  Romans 12:12  “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace…”  Romans 15:13“  To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory”. Colossians 1:27

Some people hold out hope for wayward children.  For an alcoholic mate, a drug addicted coworker, a parent with Alzheimer’s, a broken marriage, a better job, a positive test result from the doctor.  Anything that touches our daily lives is a cause for concern and a window of hope.  Hope is a positive expectation for the future.  Is there anybody out there who has the future all planned out?  Anyone who doesn’t need even the glimmer of hope?

Is hoping that an “extinct” animal may still exist asking for too much?  The Tasmanian tiger may still be around.  He may be hiding deep in the bush just out of camera range, just out of shooting range.  Impossible you say after 80 years of nothing.  Really?  Are you familiar with the Coelacanth?  It’s a large, plump, lobe-finned fish about one and a half meters long.  It was thought extinct until one was found off the coast of South Africa in 1938. And another one was spotted in an Indonesian fish market in 1997.  They were thought extinct for 65 million years!  Anything’s possible.  Things have a way of bringing about their antitheses, of surprising us radically!

There are questions we ask ourselves.  Am I dying?  Am I in decline? Am I broken? Am I unfit? Is my soul lost? Is there still time?  Is there any hope?  Do people listen to me?  Do I have any influence?  Almost nothing but hope speaks against such questions. Hope is always the first thing that takes some sort of action.  When you feel all hope is gone read Genesis 48:11 “Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too.”  God’s plan not only allowed Jacob to regain his son but his grandchildren as well.  Circumstances are never so bad that they are beyond God’s help.  Job got a new family (Job 42:10-17).  Mary regained her brother Lazarus (John 11:1-44). We need never despair; we have a loving God who will bring out good in hopelessness.

The Old Testament character Job summed up his feelings about hope.  “Though he (God) slay me, yet will I hope in him?”  Job 13:15 Can you lucidly express your feelings about hope?  Let’s hear ‘em.

Harmonic Convergence

Harmonic Convergence was the name given to the world’s first globally synchronized meditation. That’s right – Global Groupthink Groupies. This was supposed to happen in August 1987. It was supposed to coincide with the alignment of the planets (or most of them). Some adherents believed that these signs indicated that the earth was about to undergo an “energy-shift”. The followers of this convergence believed the earth was about to experience a change in global perspective. From one of conflict to rainbows and happy thoughts.  Earth’s collective karma, dharma, and freckles would then begin skipping happily down the yellow brick road. World peace was just ahead.

Wishful thinking or Wooden thinking?

Religion has the same problem. There are so many different “organized religions” that people don’t know what or who to believe. Confused about which belief is correct? Look at all the religions to choose from. There’s good ol’ Atheism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Paganism, Sikhism, and Taoism to name a few of the big hitters. Some of these have over a billion followers! That’s a world of people searching! Surely a billion people can’t be wrong can they? You’d be surprised at how many of them will be when death comes a’knockin.

Maybe you’re thinking, I’ll just follow the religion my parents taught me, they were good people. Sorry to interrupt your train of thought, but being a good person has nothing to do with going to heaven. There will be millions of “good” people in heaven, but there will be a lot in hell too. It’s not about being good! It’s about that old fashioned word from the Bible – Faith.

What is this faith that the Bible takes so seriously? It’s a personal belief in who Jesus Christ was and is. It is; believing what Jesus taught in the Bible. Hebrews chapter eleven is affectionately known as the Bible’s “Faith’s Hall of Fame”. Read it. Give it the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval test.