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Rising Above “The Same Old Same Old”

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By Roger Kruse

How much of your life is made up of daily routine? So often we find ourselves repeating familiar actions over and over again. We need to eat, sleep, and take care of personal hygiene. We go to work, buy our groceries, mow our lawns, feed our pets, wash our clothes, and watch our favorite television shows. It would seem that most of our days are dominated by activities that are repeated day by day, week by week, month by month and year by year. Sometimes our routines become like old friends, strangely comforting to us and well known. However, at other times they might become monotonous, wearisome and too predictable. In our frustration we then describe life as “the same old same old”. We become dismayed and bored, and wonder if there is more to life. It reminds me of Henry David Thoreau’s famous words, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.”  

So how do we infuse daily routines with meaning and purpose or even explore the possibilities of new pathways for our lives? Just because an activity is an often-repeated action doesn’t automatically mean there must be “contempt” with its familiarity. Even Jesus lived out the routines of his life for nearly 30 years in the village of Nazareth prior to initiating his pubic ministry. No doubt He grew up embracing the everyday activities and responsibilities of family life, and learned the skilled profession of a carpenter. He experienced the security of a loving family, the excitement of community celebrations, the strength of meaningful friendships, the sweat and weariness of hard work, as well as the heartache of losing a loved one. Jesus the Nazarene is familiar with all our ways. He has traveled your path and understands the challenges you face. Yet even in the routines, Jesus learned to understand and do God’s will. There was a purpose for his life that He was determined to fulfill. He pursued an intimate fellowship with His heavenly Father and defined His life as an ongoing obedience to what God showed Him. “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish his work.” When He took His last breath on the Cross, He affirmed his fulfilled mission, simply saying, “It is finished.” He understood that His life was to be the perfect sacrifice for your sins and mine.

“OK,” you say, “but I’m not Jesus. I am just an ordinary person trying to find my way.”  Ordinary, yes, but also unique. No one is quite like you! God created you special and has equipped you with talents and gifts that He wants you to use. How will you use them? Will you serve a higher purpose, serving others and walking in Christ’s love, or will you only pay attention to your own needs? Jesus said if you want to find your life you must be willing to lose it. You and I are called to live lives pleasing to God. The apostle Paul tells us that “whatever you do, do it for the glory of God.” The Lord wants to bless you. But don’t let it not stop there. You are blessed to be a blessing.  As you learn to give generously of your time, your talent and your resources, you will discover your best joy and fulfillment. The Bible tells us that “a generous person will prosper; the one who refreshes others, will himself be refreshed.”  

The routines of everyday life offer us a “scaffolding” from which we can fulfill our highest calling. Keep reaching up to God and reaching out to those around you. Blessings await you and God’s glory will be revealed!

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