I have hit a rut lately in my exercise routine. You may have experienced something like this before in your life. You develop a habit that you know is good for you and your life, and you start out and see the difference that the routine is making in your life. In exercise, as the habit is formed, you find yourself with more energy and a better mood. But after a while, the habit hits a rut; your routine changes or you just don’t feel like you’re doing any good, and that takes even more energy out of your sails. That is what happened to me. Christmas season happened, and its busyness, and accompanying pies and desserts, threw me out of my routine, and when I did exercise, it was with the sinking feeling they were not doing much to counterbalance the calories I was taking in, and my workouts lost their energy.
In our spiritual lives, we hit ruts too. We might be at a place where a good habit of prayer, Bible study, or meditation brings us new life and spiritual energy, and a healthy routine forms for us. But something happens, whether it is bad news, or a broken friendship, or some other things, and it is hard for us to get our energy back. We hit a rut. What are we to do? Abandon course? Give up? Try something new? Well, maybe, but some good assessment would be helpful first.
In the middle of my exercise rut, I had come to the conclusion that I had lost all that I had gained. But a couple of weeks ago, Melissa and I went for a nice bike ride, and just a couple of miles in, Melissa was feeling the familiar burn of one who has not exercised in a while. I, on the other hand, felt fine, still with plenty of energy. Then I realized that while my exercise had fallen off of what it needed to be, it was still doing good things for my body.
The same is true, I believe, of our spiritual lives. Your routines might need to be examined and re-ordered to re-capture the edge you had previously. But that does not mean that you need to think of what you are doing right now as hopeless and helpless. Doing something, even if it is far short of the energy you had for it earlier, is still doing your spirit good, and while it might be good to change tactics eventually, don’t give up too easy on what you are doing. God is good and will eventually lead you out of the dessert.
Blessings to you today in worship, and may you feel the Spirit at work in this place.