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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Breaking out of a rut

I woke up this morning in a "Groundhog Day" type mood.

If you haven't seen the comedy from 1993, you don't know what I mean.

In this insightful comedy, an egocentric TV weatherman named Phil (Bill Murray) is assigned to cover the festivities of Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Due to an unexpected snowstorm, Phil must spend an extra night in this little town along with his TV crew.

When Phil awakens the next morning, he discovers it is still February 2nd. Soon he realizes he is stuck in a 24-hour loop of Groundhog Days. No matter what he does, he wakes up every morning as if nothing had happened the day before.

His alarm goes off at 6:00 A.M. every morning to the tune of "I've got you babe" by Sonny and Cher.

Have you ever had a "Groundhog Day" where it seems like you are doing the same thing that you always do, day in and day out?

Tony Evans writes, "You get up in the morning out the same old bed and go to that same old bathroom to stare in the mirror at that same old face. You go to that same old closet and thumb through those same old clothes to put on that same old body. You go to that same old kitchen, sit at that same old breakfast table, and eat that same old breakfast.

Then to the same old garage, get in that same old car, and drive down that same old road to that same old office. You work with the same old people, doing that same old thing, receiving that same old pay. At five o'clock you end that same old work and get back to that same old car to drive that same old road back to that same old house.

You hear the same old noise from the same old kids while sitting in that same old easy chair reading that same old newspaper. You finish your day by sitting in front of that same old television watching those same old show. Then you retire to that same old bed with that same old spouse, so you can get up and do it all over again."

Are you in a rut today?

How do I get out of a rut?

Here are a few suggestions (If you have any others, please feel free to share them with me)(These are not given in any order of importance).

1. Break up your routine. Go to work a different way. Instead of watching the "same old TV" read a book. Take your family out for ice cream. Fix something around the house. Here's a thought: read the Bible.

2. Spend time in prayer. Use the feelings of being in a rut to draw closer to God. Have a great conversation with him.

3. Do something nice for someone else. Look around you and intentionally break out of the routine by taking someone to dinner, or by giving a compliment, or by buying a gift.

4. Take it one day at a time. Take a step, a small step, into doing something different, something out of the routine, something that will bring about growth and change in your life. It might be anything from learning another language to losing weight.

5. Say "yes" to a few things, even small things. It might be something like participating in a ministry in our church or helping out someone in need.

6. Be content and grateful, not for what you don't have but for what you do have.

Stop the cycle of boredom today. Realize that each day is a gift from God.

Just some thoughts for a Wednesday.

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