Monday, August 31, 2015

Speaking of ruts.....

Rut:  a track worn by a wheel or by habitual passage; a groove in which something runs; a usual or fixed practice; a monotonous routine

Fix:  to hold or direct steadily; to set or place definitely; to make an accurate determination of; to direct one's attention or efforts

Hebrews 3:1 - Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest who we confess.

katanoeo - to take note of, perceive; I understand, perceive, consider carefully

kata - down along, exactly according to
noieo - to think; properly, to think from up to down, to a conclusion; to consider exactly, attentively(decisively); to concentrate by fixing one's thinking"
'to perceive clearly', to understand fully, consider closely
katanoeo expresses real comprehending - thinking decisively to a definite (clear) understanding

Hebrews 12:2  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith....

aphorao - to look away from all else at; I look away from (something else) to, see distinctly; "looking away from all else, to fix one's gaze upon"

When I think of the word rut, the first thing I think of stems from studying the pioneers in the 5th grade (and watching Little House on the Prairie, I think).  I think of a rut in the road caused by a wheel, or as in the mountains of Wyoming possibly, snow melt making its way down a steep mountainside, carving a rut into the road or trail.

I'm sure if I asked my husband what he thought of when hears the word rut, his first response would be "Good time to hunt, when the deer are in the rut."  (Looking for a mate, if you get my drift, wink, wink).

Either way, a rut is made when you have only one thing on your mind (as in the deer and their extracurricular fall behavior, or a heavy stream of water or wagon wheel following the same path).  A rut is made deeper when there is no venturing off to make a better path, or as the deer - you have only one thing on your mind.

If someone says, "I've gotten into a rut with______________," I know that they are probably expressing the fact they are doing something the same way over and over again, with no change or visible progress.

Easy ruts come to mind, and I fell into many while raising my family.  The routine of school, homework, supper, bath, brushing teeth, bedtime story only to start all over again, definitely can lead to some major ruts.  Those ruts are good.  Children (and parents) need routine.

Planning meals were also not rut-proof.  I made the same five meals over and over for years, to my children's disapproval, yet when I suggested trying something different, they usually ended up requesting the same things over and over again.  (And we did tend to have spaghetti a little more than my youngest daughter would have liked).

Then there are our emotional ruts, and this is where I'm going to get in your business a little, so be ready.

We can have ruts of being angry, being over dramatic, being overly emotional, being over sensitive; and we can also be under angry/dramatic/emotional/sensitive too.  Our go-to response to various situations tends to be one more of habit rather than a true response equalled to the circumstance.

We can have ruts in our relationships.  Can I have an Amen from you married folks?!  We get comfortable and used to each other's habits or tastes, and pretty soon we're looking back and seeing that there isn't much new under the marriage sun.  Not that this is a bad thing.

We also have ruts in our spiritual zones too.  If you are a believer in America, you have most certainly been in a rut a time or two there.  We have ruts in our Sunday worship (if someone asked you to tell them the order of service, you could tell them word for word, couldn't you?)  Be assured here, friends, I am not dissing anyone on any of these points, I'm merely pointing out that we have ruts in many areas of our lives.

But remember, every rut once started as a new path, a new trail that was blazed by someone or something or some circumstance.  Ruts aren't born ruts.  Ruts were once brand new trails that only became ruts with over use and much repetition.  If it weren't for ruts in the road, the pioneers wouldn't have known how to find Kansas City, let alone San Francisco.

Ruts led the way to new adventures, new ideas, new dreams, new hopes.

And when the rut led to the new place, the new place started to become a rut.

So what needs to be done about ruts?  Anything?  Nothing?  Yes.

Some ruts are leading new pioneers to their Savior, while other ruts are allowing the seasoned pioneers to become lukewarm and lazy.

So.  What does this have to do with my definitions at the top of this post?  I'm so glad you asked!

Take a look at your ruts.  Really, be brave and take a good look.  Look at the ruts in your relationships, your emotions, your spiritual life, and your rut thoughts about Jesus.

Are you a repeat offender?  Are your thoughts rut thoughts?  Are they the same thoughts you've been having about any of these things since you had your very first thought about them?  What new thoughts or practices do you have in regards to your spouse or your children or your relationship with coworkers and family?  What about your emotions?  Have you tried thinking differently about your depression or your anger or your guilt?  What about your thoughts and prayers to Jesus?  Are those in a rut, saying and thinking and doing the same thing over and over again?  Have you thought every thought there is to think about Him and His wonderful ways?  No?

As Scooby said, "Rut roh."

It just takes a little turn of the head, a little venturing off the rutted road, not a lot, just a smidge, just enough so you can see the wildflowers blooming between the old ruts.  Let those wheels that have been dutifully rolling through the ruts jump out of the rut and blaze a new, and maybe little bit wider and smoother path, to take you where you're headed on your journey.

Fix your eyes on Jesus without getting fixated on the rut in the road.  Consider carefully your thoughts towards the author and finisher of your faith.  Is it time to make a parallel path to the one you've been traveling on for so long?  Look away from the rut and turn your eyes to Jesus.  See him up ahead?  He's blazing a new trail for you.



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