“We can’t expect God to do a new thing if we’re stuck doing the same thing.” ~ Unknown
Early on in my priesthood, I was sent to several assignments with the specific request of the assigning bishop: “Break them out of the rut that they are in.” I have replaced pastors that have been at parishes for 17 years or 27 years. I have helped mentor other priests who have replaced long-standing pastors as well. Don’t get me wrong, this is not an indictment against any pastor, it is merely a comment that, after someone has been at a place for an incredibly long time, the people can get in a rut when nothing new is introduced.
To be honest, that has been one of my fears. I have mentioned to several priests on the personnel board through the past years (as well as the current bishops) that if they ever felt that the parish community I was serving had slipped in a rut because I had become stale, to move me immediately.
We need to look at things from different perspectives from time to time. We need to embrace change, to accept challenges, and to look for newness in the midst of the “sameness” that often surrounds us. That is the only way to grow.
We might feel comfortable when we do nothing new. We might feel safe when we surround ourselves in a cocoon of sameness. However, that just entrenches us in a rut and, if we do nothing about it early on, it becomes incredibly hard to break out of it. God gives us the grace to look beyond and to do what is necessary to remain fresh in the faith. Accept His grace and continue to move ahead.
FAITH ACTION: Whether it be trying a new way to pray, doing a new ministry, or letting go of past hurts, try doing something different in your faith life today.