I have always been interested in Pre-Columbian history of North and South America being more than half Native American. In 1974, I was given the opportunity to excavate an archaeological site around the Guymon, Oklahoma area in the stateís panhandle that summer. At the same time at another site was being excavated near Lubbock, Texas. Interested in what was being done at this site, Dr. Richard ďDickĒ Pailes, Project Director, University of OklahomaóNorman, took his team to Lubbock to link up with the Texas Tech group. Driving from Guymon to Amarillo, Texas, we stopped to fill up our vehicles for the trip. As members of our crew went inside to purchase soft drinks and other items, there was a sign that read: ďGolden SpreadóChoose your rut well! Youíll be in it for the next one hundred plus miles. Last station before Lubbock!Ē The signís message was not kidding either. The drive from Amarillo to Lubbock presented miles and miles of golden wheat through rolling and sometimes flat countryside.
Itís a funny thing about ruts. They donít have to be miles long. They can be months long. Perhaps even years long! And ruts donít necessary have to be rough or steep climbs. They can be smooth, pleasant, exhilarating experiences because they have been traveled on for long periods.
As I have advanced supposedly in wisdom, age and knowledge, Iíve realized that Iím quite familiar with ruts. Iíve also come to realize that at long stretches of my life that I have been traveling in lots of them for a long, long time. For example:
○ Iím suspicious of people who hold very liberal views of life, politics, economic (financial), with respect to societal behavior, and of religious conviction.
○ I favor classical musical styles often shunning other forms of music especially the modern rap and hip-hop styles.
○ Iím defensive when Americans are critical of the United States to people of other nations. More so when there is no good reason and only to be like everyone else in the world or when the nation is at war with evil.
○ Iím disgusted with men and women who wear tattoos on any part of their bodies but more so when they wear one around intimate parts of their bodies.
○ Iím disgusted when people state to anyone about their sexual experiences, their lack of chastity, hatred for virginity, inability to control themselves and impatience in all things it would seem.
○ Iím critical of those who are impatient and sometimes I feel superior to those who lack patience.
○ I sit in the same area of church every time. Re-read Proverbs and Psalms because they give me comfort and wisdom sometimes to the exclusion of most of the Bible.
Yes, staying in a rut is comfortable, self-assuring and protective of my way of thinking. But eventually stagnation sets in, and then we face the difficult task of pulling ourselves out of our rut.
Take a few minutes or so this day to look at the sign or signs of your life to determine what road you are traveling down. When you do, do you see any old, well worn ruts? Do they restrict your thinking, your relationships with people, your journey through life? Is your journey down a narrow highway where you canít see the scenery? Remember our Christianity is not just about our narrow way of viewing life, people, places, and events of our time but to open up to see, know and possibly understand what is out there in the world so that we may deal with them as well as what is occurring within our church, community, culture and society. Ruts, Iíve learned is nothing more than circling the wagons and shutting out things we do not like or understand. When this is done, we cut off the Christian message to the world leaving the world to those who want to minimize or destroy the Christian message.
Christ told us to be in the world but not of the world. He likewise told us, His followers, to spread His Good News to everyone far and wide. We canít obey His Commands if we are in a rut.
I want to know where you get your stuff because so far, every single thing I have read of yours is a wake-up call for me, a cause to think, to ponder, to question. Bravo again! You are just absolutely wonderful. Thank you