I recently met a friend for coffee who was seeking peace and a greater perspective for his life. Like a lot of people I know, maybe you included, my friend was struggling in his relationship with God. It wasn’t that things were necessarily going bad or that he was making poor choices. He was just wrestling with uncertainty and frustrated with the same issues resurfacing in his life. Issues that he thought “should” have been resolved long ago. In essence, he was “should’ing” all over himself. My friend was in a rut. You have ruts. I have ruts. We all have ruts. Read on…
What is your rut? Is it chronic physical pain? A rocky marriage? Conflict with your kids or extended family? Job hassles? Finances? Wresting with God?
For those of you who know my story of dealing with chronic pain, you know that I tried unsuccessfully for many years to overcome my struggles with tendonitis in both wrists. Bad news for a writer. Whether your chronic pain is physical, emotional or spiritual, chronic pain is a debilitating, crushing weight on your spirit. (You can read The Longing for free when you subscribe to Art, Life, & Faith.)
Left unattended, pain will destroy your peace and cloud your perspective.
Short of taking illegal drugs or pounding prescription drugs, I did just about any possible to run from the pain I was experiencing. My pain became a deep rut that chiseled ugly, rough grooves in my life.
Though I wouldn’t wish that period of my life on anyone, what rings true about the quote above is that my pain, those deep and complicated ruts, forced me to find new ways to search for answers. It was my discomfort that propelled me to seek new answers.
When you are in your deepest pit of depression and despair, though you may not see it, hope is still there. (If you’d like, you can Tweet this now.)
Thankfully, after tens years of increased suffering, I was able to get out of chronic pain. Though I didn’t see it at the time, the seeds of The Grove Center for the Arts & Media were planted during those years of brokenness. Just last year was a huge highlight when I felt healthier than ever. I began training and competing in the sport of triathlon. In September 2012, I completed my first half-Ironman event. For someone who had almost lost all hope and wanted to die because of the pain, I was able to swim, bike and run 70.3 miles in one day. I write that to offer you the hope that your circumstances can change. For me, I learned that I had to first change. Not my circumstances.
You don’t need to become a triathlete to get out of your rut. But with God’s help, He’s willing to help you start searching for new ways and truer answers to your problem today.
Question: What has helped you get out of ruts in the past? How can I pray for you? Where are you needing peace and perspective today?