You know the feeling that I am talking about, of getting stuck in a rut, of going though the motions, being on autopilot. It happens to all of us, sometimes it is driven by routine, or by tiredness, and sometimes it is just easier to get through our day if that is how we function. Yet few people like going through the motions. It is not life-giving to be going through the motions, but it is a place that we find ourselves in sometimes.
One place that we get stuck in ruts is our faith. We feel stuck because we pray the same way, have the same order of worship, sing the same songs, etc. We get convinced that this must be the only way to do those things; this must be the only way.
When Jesus came 2,000 years ago He changed everything. Jesus called a group of people to be his disciples that few others would have called, he taught and spent time with people that few others in society would be caught dead spending time with. Jesus shook up how people thought about their faith. Jesus accused religious leaders of worshipping tradition, instead of worshipping a living God. Jesus spent his time teaching people about the depth of their faith. People thought they had to hang out with certain kinds of people, Jesus said, that is silly; you should spend time with all sorts of interesting people. People were stuck in various traditions that Jesus said, why do you do that? That is not the only way to pray, to worship, to serve, etc.
Sometimes we forget that the way we do things in our lives and church are not the only way to do them. There are a number of prayer practices that are thousands of years old, that most of us are completely unaware of or have never tried. There are hundreds and thousands of forms that people have used to worship God in the last 2,000 years, most of which are completely unfamiliar to us. Jesus came so that we might have life to the fullest. Jesus came to show us a faith that was deep, meaningful, relevant, and lead to transformed lives.
Don’t worry we all get stuck in ruts, that is part of life. But when we each find ourselves, what can we do? Jesus showed us that our faith is deep and wide. Jesus encouraged people to reflect on their faith, asking why is that you do what you do? What is the meaning behind it? Are you worshipping God, or just going through the motions? If we do what we have always done, we will get what we have always gotten. Perhaps when we get into ruts, it can be God’s leading us to something new, to new opportunities, and to renewed growth and transformation. Perhaps it can be a chance for us to reach into the depth of our faith in ways that we have never before.