Get out of the rut: Do you live or do you just exist?

Do you exist, or do you live life to its fullest?

It’s a good question to ponder, not one to just put aside in despair. Many of us just exist in life, day to day of just living experiences rather than experiencing life.

Sometimes we’re dying inside, other times our hopes and dreams are simply drying up. Creativity becomes stale, and excitement and enthusiasm for the real things in life become all-too-familiar dull and cloudy events.

Over the past few years, and increasingly so in the past few months and weeks, I’ve begun to find the life again. I like to say it like this: I’m more ME today than I was only a month ago! More me today than I was 20 years ago!

The good news is that God wants you to be fulfilled, and you can experience life and life abundantly. Jesus said so himself in John 10:10.

Out of reach, you say? “Not meant for me,” you believe? Given up on ever getting “there”, you think? It is not out of reach, it is meant for you and you can get there!

Let’s put it like this: What would you do if this were the last day of your life? If you knew you had only 24 hours, what would you do with them?

Og Mandino considers this in his book The Greatest Salesman in the World:

“I will live this day as if it is my last. And if it is my last, it will be my greatest monument. This day I will make the best day of my life. This day I will drink every moment to its full. I will savor its taste and give thanks. I will maketh every hour count and each minute I will trade only for something of value. My last must be my best. I will live this day as if it is my last. And if it is not, I shall fall to my knees and give thanks.”

But many of you aren’t there. Many of you are stuck in a rut, which is just a grave with both ends kicked out. It’s easy to live in the rut. Often, it’s safe to live in the rut. Many times, it’s comfortable in the rut.

You can get out of the rut though. You can live the abundant life. But you gotta have the want to, as Allan Oggs says.

You can be more YOU today than you were yesterday when you let God rekindle the long-dormant dreams and bottled-up desires He has placed in your heart. It takes an effort though. It even requires that you talk to yourself, as in a pep talk like a coach might give his team before a big game. There are times you just have to put your rally cap on and cheer yourself on like it’s the bottom of the ninth inning or the last two minutes of the game.

And, sometimes, you just have to tell your heart to beat again. The lyrics of the song by Randy Phillips provide a profound encouragement to many who are living in the rut of life and are either too tired, too discouraged or too beaten down to get out.

Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday’s a closing door
You don’t live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you’ve been
And tell your heart to beat again.

More than that, listen to Randy tell the story behind the song.

So, are you living or just existing? Climb out of the rut! What are you waiting for? The right time? The right place? Someone to pull you out?

Jonathan Winters was one of the most beloved comedians of a generation ago. He was always making people laugh, creating many roles along the way. But he had one of the greatest observations on waiting for the right time. He said: “If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to meet it!”

Quit waiting for permission. Go live your life! ~~Bob Goff.

It’s time to realize that “yesterday’s a closing door, you don’t live there anymore.” I could give you many ways to get out of the rut, but the only real 1-2-3 method is this one. Take the first step, then the next step and the next.


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