News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Religion

June 8, 2013

THE JOY LADY: Pull your wheels out of the Sunday morning rut

TERRE HAUTE — Go about five miles west of Guernsey, Wy., and you might fall into some ruts. During the Oregon Trail years, so many wagons traveled through the soft sandstone there that deep ruts were formed—some as deep as four to six feet.

We understand a thing or two about ruts, don’t we? We do the same thing over and over in the same way so often that we dig ourselves into some mighty deep ruts.

For instance, one rut we have gotten ourselves into is regular church attendance. That’s right: sometimes we attend church only because we are in a rut we can’t seem to find a way out of. Attending church on Sunday morning is what is expected of us. It’s what we’ve done for so long, we’ve worn a Sunday morning rut between our house and God’s house.

We go to church because it’s Sunday, and that’s what we do. And God knows that’s why we’re there, too.

Isaiah 29:13 says, “The Lord says, ‘These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.’” God wants us to get out of our attendance rut, so we can worship him.

Sometimes we can allow our complacency about God’s love to get us in a rut. Francis Chan says that we rely on God’s forgiveness so much that we come to the place in the rut where we think, “I am more concerned about being saved from the penalty of my sin than I am from being saved from my sin.”

Deep in our ruts, we have forgotten how to hate sin. Oh, sure, we hate getting caught in sin, but only because it’s embarrassing to get caught. In our rut, we forget that sin is born in evil, and we should hate the sin in our lives because we know that our sin separates us from God. Knowing that God’s love is full of grace and mercy should make us so happy we jump right out of that rut of complacency.

Sometimes we are in the deepest rut of all. It’s the rut where we think about our lives on Earth much more than our lives in eternity. We think about what we are going to be doing today, where we are going to go. Our schedules, our to-do lists, our activities take up our time and thoughts. At the end of the day, we tumble into bed and say a hurried and harried prayer, hoping we don’t fall asleep before we get to “Amen.”

C.S. Lewis said, “If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.”

I hope history writes a different story about us, don’t you?

Isn’t it time for us to get out of our ruts?

Verna Davis, speaker and writer, maybe reached at vrdspeaks@yahoo.com.

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