We’ve all heard some form of the quote, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Regardless of whether Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, or Mark Twain originated the quote, it’s a powerful truth. Far too often we get stuck in a rut with our relationships, our career, our finances, and our spiritual progress by doing the same things expecting that eventually something will change. Some of us need change – real change – before our rut becomes a depression.
I was on Crystal beach a few weeks ago with some friends and couldn’t help but laugh at some beachgoers that were making the same mistake over and over. The weather had been pretty dry and windy and there was a lot of soft sand right at the entry of this part of the shore. One by one people were trying to drive onto the beach through this huge patch of deep soft sand. One by one they all got stuck. Insanity personified. The more they tried to get free, the deeper the depression of their tires into the sand. They couldn’t get out of the rut they had created. All they could do was ask for help and be willing to let someone pull them out.
I love this principle from John Maxwell. “You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily.” How would calling some of your friends and checking in on them effect your relationships? How much would going the extra mile for your boss change your career? What would happen is you adjusting your budget to spend less and save more? To what level do you think your joy would increase if you added a daily time of worship into your schedule? Get out of your rut by trying something new with intentionality.
Let me encourage you with this verse. “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland (Isaiah 43:19, NIV).” Israel was a bit notorious for the insanity of doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Here God was reminding them though that despite their insanity and unfaithfulness, He was willing to not only forgive, but bring victory and success. He reminded them of their great exodus from Egypt and now promised “a new thing” – a way in the wilderness and streams in the wilderness.
Go back and read verse 16-18 and you’ll see these three keys:
1. Remember what HE has done
2. Forget your past (mistakes/failures)
3. Embrace the NEW
I think one of the most important things to notice from my illustration of people getting stuck on the beach is that they only got out of the rut by humbling themselves and asking for help. You were never intending to go it alone. You were made for community. I would love to have community with you and welcome the opportunity to coach you out of your rut(s).
1. Make a list of the things that God has done for you.
2. What thing(s) from your past keep you in a rut?
3. What NEW thing(s) can you try with God’s help in order to stop from going insane?