plural noun: ruts
1. a long deep track made by the repeated passage of the wheels of vehicles.
2. a habit or pattern of behavior that has become dull and unproductive but is hard to change.

I like ruts. Sameness, ritual, routine. I don’t tire of the same coffee, the same neighbors, same food. I like living in the same house where our babies learned to walk. The house Tom built.

My father used to tell me the horrifying story of driving his daddy’s car in the rural Ozark hills when he was eight years old. He told us about picking up his “girlfriend” for his eighth birthday party. He could drive somewhat safely because of the ruts in the road. They kept him on course. There wasn’t fear of veering to the right or left; the ruts kept him engaged in the familiar way.

I relate to the rut concept so much these days. For me it’s not unproductive or dull that I’m feeling. It’s safety and comfort. I’ve lived in the same home for about thirty years and I’ve learned how I fit here. I’m content with my roles as neighbor, mom, Mimi, and friend. I’m pretty sure that I’d stay right here in this house until my last breath if God and Tom hadn’t intervened. Stay happily, I might add.

The only thing I like more than sameness is a looming sense of what I call God’s Purpose. Since I was spiritually awakened and enlightened as a teenager many years ago, my daily prayer is for guidance into the plans and calling that God has assigned me. A pursuit of this Purpose has carried me through joy, heartache, divorce, longing, poverty, marriage, grief and celebration; always with a deepening sense of His reality and nearness in my life. At this point, with my history, I’d be foolish to disregard His leading even if it’s opposed to my comfort and desires.

Ruts can be good for specific reasons. Say, for instance, there is a project that requires your full attention or a discipline that needs to become a habit in your life.

I read a book about habits— The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg. One of the most impressive examples given was the story of Michael Phelps’ training practices. For many years he’d gone through precisely the same daily and hourly habits that eventually brought him to record-breaking victories in the Olympics.

At some point, however, a person may need to take the steep climb out of the rut that’s unknowingly been created. Could there be a new unexplored road ahead?

Living in what we call Christianity—following Christ—calls for attention to His ventures. On the one hand, the not knowing can be rather exciting. On the other hand, for some of us, the not knowing what’s around the next corner can be quite terrifying.

This is where I find myself today. Change brought on by Tom’s job in another state. I’m pursuing another life and home because I know my place is with him.

Countless times I’ve been grateful to God for leading me. When life is most difficult, I’m most desperate to hear Him speak. Through the Holy Spirit, if I take time to be quiet, He never disappoints.

I know with all my heart I couldn’t have survived this life without the friendship and closeness of Jesus, the Father and the Spirit. The Bible is alive and fresh each day and gives us everything we need for living life fully. I can never thank Him enough.

Screwtape, speaking of God says, “Now it may surprise you to learn that in His efforts to get permanent possession of a soul, He relies on the troughs even more than on the peaks; some of His special favourites have gone through longer and deeper troughs than anyone else.” Screwtape calls God’s propaganda an “appalling truth”. “He really does want to fill the universe with a lot of loathsome little replicas of Himself–creatures whose life on its miniature scale will be qualitatively like His own, not because He has absorbed them but because their wills freely conform to His.” The Screwtape Letters  by C.S. Lewis




2 thoughts on “Ruts

  • May 14, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    Dearest Myra,
    Again your wise words are conveyed with such grace and vulnerability. You are a wordsmith ….communicating to the heart of women with love and honesty What a gift the Lord has given you and I want to thank you for using that powerful gift to encourage and comfort aching hearts.
    Not sure if you already moved but just wanted you to know you and Tom are in our prayers as you begin your adventure.
    I remember when we first moved back to Wilmington. I came back very reluctantly and not with a very good attitude I confess.
    You were one of the first women I met at church. I remember seeing you loving hold sweet baby Katherine and I felt a connection to you as a mommy. You always encouraged me and loved me as I am. Thank you !
    I know God will place Myras in your life to welcome and love you right where you are.
    Keep walking in HIS GRACE and beauty.
    Have you moved yet? I would love to come by and give you a huge hug before you go.
    If you have already left know that I am sending you a heart hug! Much love my beautiful friend…..the best is yet to be!
    remember Sarah went with Abraham…..and she went in a smelly old tent. 😊

    • May 15, 2017 at 3:09 am

      Oh gosh, you don’t even know what your words mean to me! I can’t thank you enough. Really. It will be a while before I move. So much to do before everything is ready…and we haven’t found a house yet in Columbia! We’ve been looking when I go there. That’s our main prayer— to find the place God has for us. I would love to see you and get together!!! Text me when you have time and let’s plan it! 910-612-2850 I love you!


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