What does it mean to be “stuck in a rut?” I think Bill Murray’s “Groundhog Day” movie explored the humorous (and dark) side of this theme, a theme that, thanks to the coronavirus, is probably more familiar to us than it has ever been. Lately the days have really seemed to blur together, to be on an endless cycle of repeat, and tomorrow never seems to come.
I feel for many of us, the rut we are currently experiencing with coronavirus is really not much different than the rut we were experiencing prior to the coronavirus. We’ve simply changed one hamster wheel from another hamster wheel. We’ve simply gone from being perpetually “busy” to perpetually “idle.” But both are ruts just the same, just by a different name.
In today’s podcast, I talk about escaping our personal Groundhog’s Day. Be sure to listen as I address more fully the following 6 tips for getting out of a rut.
- Identify and topple the idols in your life. Even if don’t think yourself religious, as John Calvin rightly pointed out, the human heart is an idol factory. We are often in a rut because we’ve developed a religious like devotion to comfortable patterns we’ve cultivated. These patterns often act like railroad tracks that keep us going perpetually in one direction.
- Learn to embrace the everyday things of life. While we might need to topple some idols in our lives, there are beautiful routines that we must ultimately embrace. Learn to distinguish between the two. Destroy one, and see the beauty of the other. See this as an opportunity to cultivate the fruit of faithfulness in your life.
- Look to do new and creative things. It’s easy to coast and to just live in the realm of the familiar. God never designed us to just coast through life. As individuals created in the image of God, like God, we all have the ability to create. So, let’s get out there and fill this world with, as John Howey says, our “unique flavor.”
- Life doesn’t center around you. While you might feel like you are the most important person in your story and that the world revolves around you, there is a reason God gave us eyes that see outward and not inward. Open your eyes and look for new opportunities to serve others. While that might be hard to do in the middle of a coronavirus lockdown, everyone is equipped with the unique potential to serve others with their talents and abilities. It’s up to you to simply find out how.
- Cultivate healthy habits and better relationships. Get a good night’s sleep. Eat well. Lift something heavy above your head. Love your wife, call your mother, care for your neighbor.
- Set challenging but obtainable goals, and then do them. We thrive the most when we are doing those things that demand we bring everything to the table, and tap into our sense of purpose. Find out what makes you tick, and then stretch yourself by doing something outside your comfort zone.