Getting myself out of a rut

Published 9:18 pm Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A friend recently texted me a message that read: “This is not the season in your life to get stuck in a rut. God wants you progressing in every area of your life.”

After I paused to reflect about the sobering message she sent and why my friend, whom I rarely see or speak with, sent it to me just when I needed it, I texted to ask why. According to her, she sent it to respond to a little nudge that we both believed to be from Holy Spirit.

I repeatedly find myself in ruts, but this time it seemed that God Almighty had designed a different path for me.

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I looked up the word “rut” some time ago and found it means: “a well-worn path.” Imagery created by that definition caused me to envision two scenes, one in which a monster truck with huge, heavily treaded tires remains stuck in mud and repeatedly spews it all over the truck and everything else that is close by. The tires spin and spin because they can’t generate enough traction to get out of the rut, so it remains trapped.

I also thought of the poem by Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken.” Frost creatively depicted an individual standing at a crossroads and deciding to travel the less familiar path. From my experience, choosing the less-worn path can lead to greater adventures, bigger opportunities and more exciting times, which I believe to be more in line with what God has for people who follow Him.

After reflecting on those images, I began to want more for myself than a worn-out, muddy path that stymies my growth and potential. As my heart changed, my mind followed and said, “No more muddy, trench-laden paths for me. I choose a different one that leads to somewhere great!”

On the same day that I received the text from my friend, I went to the local YMCA that I’ve been going to almost every week since January. On this particular day, I passed by locker rooms, exercise equipment and staff offices like I usually did, but something was different about one particular office — the door was wide open.

As I walked by I saw a sign on the wall that read, “THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX,” in big, block letters. As I type this (on the day after I received the first text), my friend just texted me again confirming what I’ve been writing.

This time her text read: “Where you are headed is a far better place than where you are now!” I don’t believe in coincidences, so it sounds like it’s time to get out of a rut and start thinking outside the box so I can head to a far better place than where I am now.

Anybody want to join me on the road not taken?

Tonya Swindell writes a blog for and a teacher for Kingdom Building Equipping School ( She can be reached at