When was the last time you did something for the very first time? Sometimes as we age, our lives become so structured, organized, and predictable that our first encounter moments become fewer and further apart.
We take fewer risks because our big decisions have largely been made—we have already had our first kiss, car, job, career, or move. We have already paid a price to get where we are and it is natural to shift into a more manageable maintenance mode. However, if we are not careful today’s routines can become tomorrow’s ruts and we can end up languishing in life instead of flourishing in it.
This is not the way God intended for us to live. In both the Old and New Testaments, God emphatically declares that He is in the business of bringing new things into existence while restoring old things until they become brand new.
I learned this lesson many years ago, while coaching the Lava Girls, the greatest eight-year old girls soccer team in the world. None of the girls had played before, so everything was brand new. They had their first practice with their first coach while preparing to play in their first game. In their first game they scored their first goals and tasted their first moments of team victory, and it barely even dawned on them that they were doing anything brave or courageous with all of these firsts. They were simply doing what comes naturally when we are young.
What if we never lost that youthful heart? What if we refused to get too complacent, and constantly pushed back on our comfort zone when it tried to take over too much our lives? What if we took the risk to see where God might truly be leading us?
It is okay to love rhythms and routines—indeed, we must have some structure to finish great tasks and live great lives. However, we cannot allow these things to become ruts that eventually morph into graves. There is more to be experienced than that.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:18-19)
“He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’” (Revelation 21:5)