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  • Writer's pictureHyland Heights

Don't Look At The Rut

I absolutely love riding a motorcycle. The freedom of the open road, untethered power at the flick of a wrist; nothing like it!  During the spring, the smell of the flowers beginning to bloom is so refreshing.

I began riding dirt bikes early in life. Jumps, bumps, and mud. The dirtier the better. I learned quickly that the bike followed the movement of my eyes and head. Always look at where I want to go, where I want the bike to track. Whatever you do, don't look at the rut!

A girlfriend called and sounded as though she may be ill. As I inquired about her health, she finally told me she had been riding her dirt bike, practicing for the next time we would ride together. She had recently asked me how I drove so quickly past a certain rutted, overly rough area of the trail. I gave her my secret, “Don't look at the rut.” I could not make the connection between the weakened voice and the dirt bike. She finally filled in the blanks for me, “I looked at the rut!” We then had a laugh together as she described her biking in the rut experience.

How often do I find life to be the same way? If I look at the rut, I'm there. In the deep, rough area where I seem to become stuck. Isn't that what a rut is? An area where you shouldn’t venture, but find yourself. Always muddy. Just spinning your wheels with no traction. Unable to make headway. The more focused on the rut, the deeper it becomes. Feels as though escape is impossible.

What do the scriptures teach about rut living? David knew all too well about the ruts of life. He called it a pit. Psalm 40:2: "He brought me out of the horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock." Just like that? The verse seems too simple, doesn't it?

First, it said that David had to wait patiently. What? Waiting? Patience? I knew the verse was way to easy. The trial of waiting, patiently. David realized that blessing usually follow trials and is worth the wait. Next, he was given a new song. He sang praises to God knowing that many would see his pit and could learn from him. Can I use my trials and pits of life to praise and be a testimony to others?

The Apostle Paul teaches how to get out of the rut. It is not about dwelling on the pit of life. We have to change our perspective and stop dwelling on the negative of a given situation. Philippians 4:8 reminds us to think on "whatever is true, honest, just, pure, whatever is lovely, things of a good report, if there be any virtue and any praise; think on these things." Where do your thoughts seem to become stuck?

Paul also teaches how to stay out of the rut. In chapter 3:2 he tells the Colossians to set their mind, attention on things above not on the things of this earth. Where your treasure, there your heart also. If my mind and affections are on the heavenly, the spiritual, the rut, or pits of life can be completely overlooked.

Once you get yourself out of the rut and learn how to stay out, it is time to rejoin the race. Paul even had something to say about how to run the race. In Philippians 3:13-14 he explains that he doesn't have all the answers to life’s dilemmas, but shares the one thing that he does to keep running his race. He forgets those things which are behind and he struggles for what is ahead. Run toward the goal, so that you can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done.

He does not stay stuck on past failures or mistakes. He wasn't perfect. Before his conversion he ruthlessly tortured Christians, having them stoned to death. He understood grace and forgiveness. He continued to move forward not allowing guilt to keep him bound in

a pit.

I am to run the race of life before me patiently, Hebrews 12:1-2. There is that word again; patience. Right back where I started. Waiting patiently and trying to remember that it is His plan, in His timing, and serving Him while I'm waiting....patiently.

Karen Neas

Women's Ministry Leader

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