A few weeks ago, my dad and I put a roof on my house. OK, my dad and I did most of it, but we had plenty of help from my brother, my daughter, an uncle and even my pastor. It is something I know how to do, but don’t do on a regular basis.
I intentionally waited until the fall when the weather would be cooler, multiple Kentucky Changers roofing projects in the hot summer sun taught me that lesson. At the end of the week, we had a nice new roof, old shingles had been hauled off, and there was a sense of accomplishment.
While all that was nice, one of the byproducts of the week was a break from the routine. I love what I do at Crossings. But the break from the normalcy of ministry was welcome.
The change in routine reminded me that there are seasons in ministry where we feel like we are just going through the motions. Wednesdays and Sundays come around again, and it takes all we can do to prepare. Each week seems just like the week before.
Some call it being in a rut (a pattern of behavior that has become dull)—others call it insanity (doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results). At some point we’ve all been there, and if you haven’t you will be.
Sometimes the best way to combat the rut is to do something different. Shake things up a bit. There are a myriad of things to do. Below are some ideas just to get the thoughts flowing.
Simple things: Put your socks on in a different order in the morning, drive a different way to work, go through the grocery store from left to right instead of right to left, change the seating arrangements at the family dinner table or play a board game with the family after dinner, just a simple change to the routine can sometimes help.
Spend some time outdoors: go fishing, build a bonfire, go for a hike, put up a hammock and enjoy the sunshine or just have a meal on the deck. For me, there is nothing like time outside to change my countenance.
Read: not for work, but for fun. It could be rereading The Lord of the Rings for the hundredth time, a biography on your favorite person or learning more about a hobby. Maybe even challenge yourself and read something from an author with whose viewpoint you’re going to disagree. It will stretch your mind.
Make sawdust: that’s what my friends Steve Coleman and the late Bill Houpt called it. Their diversion from life was spending time in the shop making stuff out of wood. Sometimes it was a table, a bench, or a smoker out of a barrel, but most of the time when ask what they were making the answer was, sawdust. Find time for doing what you love to do.
Take a class: not one to teach you want you already know, but something that will stretch you. Find a Groupon for something you’ve never done. It could be pottery, painting, glassblowing, ballroom dancing or accordion lessons, just find something that is going to stretch your comfort level and is vastly different from what you normally do.
Use a New Translation: read scripture from a different translation, not permanently, just for a period of time. On-line places like You Version and Bible Gateway lets you change translations without having to go out a spend money for a new Bible.
Roof a house: maybe not literally roof a house, but the morning my pastor, Kris Billiter, spent helping take off shingles meant a lot to us. I am sure that some of your church members could use help with something around their house. Take a morning or a day and get out of the office and go help.