Two-Minute Meditations
Two Minute Meditations
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We live so much of our lives on autopilot!
Get Out of Your Rut!

    Each school day, I take one of my children to a special class and then on to her own school. As I sit and wait, I see the same children and parents come into the school everyday. They arrive at the same time, acting very much the same way each day.

    One dad brings his daughter late nearly every day. At best, they barely beat the tardy bell. Each morning they go through the same routine. Dad gets out quickly. He hurries toward the front door, leaving his young daughter to get her lunch box and books by herself. Taking big, fast, daddy steps, he gruffly barks at her to hurry up. “You don’t want to be late,” he always scolds. She hurries to catch up. He opens the school door for her and they disappear.

    Several things strike me about this scene. I’m convicted by my own tendency to be late and make my children late to their events—seeing it in someone else shames me for my selfishness. This daily display also makes me angry: this little girl has no control over the time she arrives at school. Being late is her dad’s fault. She can’t drive, she is too little to set the alarm clock. But she starts every morning of school feeling bad about herself—“My daddy is mad at me because we are late. I’m going to be embarrassed again coming into class after everyone else.” What a sad way to start school.

    I’m sure the dad thinks he is doing something special for his little girl by walking her to class. I’m sure he loves her very much and wants her to have a great day. I’m sure he wants her to be confident and excited about her school work. I’m sure he doesn't know how hurtful his treatment of her is. But he is in a rut—a habit that’s so ingrained he doesn’t think about its consequences.

    We live so much of our lives on autopilot! We often sit in the same place, eat at the same restaurant, visit with the same people, drive the same way to work, watch the same TV shows, get up at the same time, and even wear the same clothes. Most of this is not bad. Putting unimportant things on autopilot allows us to devote our energy and attention to new things, important projects, and needed creativity. But we must turn off autopilot in our precious relationships.

    One of Garrison Keillor’s great lines is that “when you've been married a long time, you fight for entertainment because you already know the outcome.” Unfortunately it’s true. We get in predictable routines, bad habits, and destructive patterns in our relationships with our spouse, children, parents, and friends. Our loved ones feel taken for granted. We deny it. We genuinely love them. We want what’s best for them. It couldn’t be true, could it!?

    Underneath the surface, , we catch ourselves not listening as we should, or expecting them to understand us being “just a little late” again, or reading the paper (or watching TV) pretending to pay attention to them, or using them as the butt of another of our jokes “to liven up a dull party.” We’ve fallen into a bad rut that runs over the ones we most love.

    Let’s get out of the rut. First, let’s notice what we do with our loved ones in our daily routines. We can check out the patterns and habits and see if you can catch some things we'd like to change. Second, we’re going to try to do something new, something fresh, for each of the people we love each month. It won’t be extravagant, just out of the routine. Third, we can really listen to them—listen for the mood they’re in, find out about their day, say things they need to hear, and don’t try to tell them what to do so much as let them know we care what happened.

    "A rut is simply a grave without ends on it." So let’s get out of that rut!

“The steadfast love the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning!” Lamentations 3:22-24



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