The rain had been falling lightly for the first hour of my trip home. The road was a little slick, but not bad. The pesky light rain kept my windows a mess — too light to wash off the road film and just damp enough to keep my wipers streaking up the windshield. After a stop for refueling, I continued on my way. Another twenty minutes down the road, everything changed.

Suddenly the skies darkened so that it looked like early evening. The raindrops became larger and fell more frequently. Then the deluge began. I had to slow down, turn the wipers on high, and get out of the ruts in the pavement. As the heavy rain began to fall, the almost unnoticeable tire lanes on the highway filled with water. Even at slow speeds, the tires instantly began to hydroplane and controlling my truck was impossible. I was forced to get out of the ruts if I was going to make it home.

So often in every day living, many of us get in our ruts and never realize we've fallen into them. These comfortable patterns in our lives become so ingrained that we fail to even recognize they are there. Every-once-in-a-while, our Father finds a way to help us see our ruts and nudge us to get out of them.

Now let's be honest with ourselves. Not all habits are bad; in fact, some are good and many help us do good things without having to think much about them. On the other hand, we often let ruts steal from us the new joys, challenges, and adventures that God has designed just for us. It's not only that we fail to see the things along our way, but it's also that we don't take any different routes with our lives and so we miss many of the things God wants for us to discover. It's not an accident that the popular definition of a rut is a grave with the ends kicked out of it. Unfortunately, that grave without an end is where some of us allow ourselves to live.

So how do we get out of our ruts in a godly way?

Each day, we ask the Lord to open our eyes to see the things around us.
Each day, we need to ask the Lord to open our eyes to see the opportunities, people, situations, and alternatives around us. We do this by beginning the day focused on the Lord and his will for our lives. We ask him to lead us to the place, people, and circumstances he wants to use to shape our lives. While we may not see something that immediately captures our attention, simply changing our familiar surroundings is often enough for us to see a new direction to pursue that leads us to other areas of service for the King and his Kingdom.

Let's not let our ruts take the adventure out of our discipleship and keep us from people the Lord has waiting for us on unfamiliar paths just nearby.

Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. (Matthew 6:32-33)