Lately, I’ve been thinking about habits, patterns, routines, etc.; those things that we do just because we do them. Or things that we don’t do, just because we never have. Personally, I think it’s good to stir things up every now and then; to branch out and do something different, or do something in a different way. I especially like discovering new interests and abilities by doing things I never imagined myself doing. It broadens my self-image; helps me see myself in a different way.
For example, I was never even remotely a person likely to be called “health conscious.” My diet was disgraceful. I did no more exercise than was required to get from one seat to another during my daily, mostly sedentary routine. I remember when water rarely passed my lips. I couldn’t detect a flavor in it, so I didn’t see the point.
Truthfully, I believe that God is dealing with me about some of those things - my habits, patterns, and routines - and has called me into a season of self-evaluation and change. I didn’t even realize it, in the beginning, and I’m not sure that I can pinpoint exactly when it started. Maybe my fifty-something body’s aches and pains were a signal that I need to start taking better care of myself. I was hospitalized, last year, for the first time in my life except as related to giving birth. I had a severe and atypical case of double pneumonia. That was certainly an attention-getter. That experience, and others, opened me up to making some changes in my diet and to incorporating exercise into my routine. I’m still nobody’s health nut or athlete, but I definitely have made some positive changes in these areas.
I bought a refurbished juicer from Amazon, and I’ve had fun trying juice recipes, experimenting with my own ideas, and figuring out what I like. I’ve also been pretty amazed at my body’s response to this form of nourishment. I actually feel better!
Is it time to shake things up a bit? Do something different? Try something new? It doesn’t have to be anything drastic. Even the most profound changes often begin with a minor adjustment to a long-standing routine.
A couple of days ago, I saw an ad for a free class being offered at a holistic wellness center near me. It’s an introduction to mindfulness. I signed up for it. The description of it appealed to me. The fact that it is an opportunity to learn something was also attractive.
I’m sharing all of this about my own experience, yet I feel that there’s a message here which might be meant for someone else as well. Maybe it will resonate with someone who feels that she or he is in a rut; someone who is bored; someone who, like me, slides fairly easily from boredom to depression.
Is it time to shake things up a bit? Do something different? Try something new? It doesn’t have to be anything drastic. Even the most profound changes often begin with a minor adjustment to a long-standing routine. It also helps to remember that it is perfectly okay to try something new and not like it. I think that sometimes the question, “What if I don’t like it?” stops us from trying new things. But if we don’t stop at asking the question, if we go on to answer it, most often we’ll realize that not liking some new thing we’ve tried will not have any lasting or significant consequences. We have a new experience and we decide it’s not our thing. We learn something about ourselves, in the process, which is likely to point us in the direction of what we do like, and we move on to the next adventure.
… it is perfectly okay to try something new and not like it.
The kids went back to school last week, and even though it has been quite a few years since I’ve been in school or had a child in school, this time of the year still feels, to me, like a time for starting something. Who’s up for it? Who is in need of a change? If you are, ask the Spirit within you for guidance and direction and trust that answers will come. Be present, attentive, and open to cues of all kinds that might give you fresh ideas. And be intentional about looking for new interests and activities - in the “Events” section of local newspapers; in the class offerings at spas, gyms, cooking schools, or junior colleges. Let yourself remember that thing you’ve been thinking about looking into off and on for years - and go for it! Re-claim that hobby that you got too busy for, and take the time to enjoy it again.
Jesus said he came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly. Let’s not live it mired down in tedious routines. Each day holds the promise of countless possibilities - too many to allow them all to pass us by.
I’ve heard, from an excellent Source, that church is a great place to shake things up and bust out of ruts! Loads of potential for Divine appointments, new friendships, learning and study opportunities, discovering and exercising skills and gifts, participating in building something lasting, and finding your passion and purpose. I’m just saying …