Do You Groove?
By: Zach Collins
As humans, do we sometimes get in a groove? I do. I am a creature of habit by all meanings of the phrase. Every morning, I wake up and complete the exact same routine. I shower, eat, watch television, and then get ready for the day. I watch the same thing on television. I sometimes even eat the same thing for breakfast. While my schedule might vary from day to day, my routine, my actions, and my motivations all remain the same. Is that a bad thing? No. By mere instinct, I feel as if some humans are inherently creatures of habit. People have been ‘grooving’ for centuries and will continue to ‘groove’, and I do not mean dancing. We find things that we enjoy or things that make us comfortable and we repeat those things every single day of our life. We are simply enjoying the pleasantries of life that God has given us. However, when does that groove became a bad thing? When does our adherence to things comfortable become hindering? It is when we let that comfortability inhibit our ambition to venture out of our comfort zone. Or, it is when we let that comfortability hinder our willingness to evolve as a human being. Everyone grows. Just as the leaves are changing colors during fall, we should be changing and evolving within our own lives. Whether you are becoming more tempered, more forgiving, more trustworthy, or more goal-oriented, you are growing. But, if we have become so entrenched within our daily lives, where do we find room, in our trench, to grow? We can’t. Simply put, there is no room in our trench to grow. As a result, we no longer possess the desire to venture out of our comfort zone to experience things new and unfamiliar. This is the point when our groove becomes something that impedes our personal growth. That is when our groove becomes a bad groove within our lives.
As Christians, do we sometimes get in a groove? I do. Every Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening I complete the same routine. I get dressed, drive to the Church building, and sit in the same pew. Oh, I also sit in the exact same spot as many of us do. After the worship service is completed, I make the same routine rounds. I shake the same people’s hands. I talk to the same people, sometimes about the same things. I even park in the same place in the parking lot. Is this a bad thing? No. However, what is the determining factor between a good groove and a bad groove in our spiritual lives? Perspective. By definition, perspective is a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something, or a point of view. Now, let me ask and answer three questions:
1.) Do we sometimes lose focus of the important things in our Christianity?
A word that goes hand-in-hand with perspective is focus. These two go together like peanut butter and jelly. Let me start by stating this confession, I do. It is as simple as a word, phrase, or incident. Something occurs and just as dominos fall, we are drawn into worldly circumstances or incidents that overtake our life. We begin to meditate over that particular circumstance or incident that we cannot control. Instead of looking to God for answers, we search for answers ourselves. We concentrate our entire focus to that particular circumstance or incident in an effort to fix the unfixable. As a result, our Christianity suffers since our focus is no longer on God. This incident or obstacle has now over taken our life and our Christianity. Henceforth, we have created an idol (Exodus 20:3-4), much like the golden calf the Jews created in the same chapter of scripture. Wow, that escalated quickly. But, it is as simple as that. Just as this illustration demonstrated, it is easy to be drawn into worldly problems. So, how do we fix it? Simply put, we must resist the hold that irrelevant problems have on our lives so that we can reach our full potential as children of God. Even more simple, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Control what you can control and let the other stuff take care of itself. At the end of the day, your relationship with God should be your primary focus. Even though the other stuff might be troubling, in the grand scheme of things it is irrelevant. After all, we are not called to be of the world, we are called to be of God (John 17:16).
2.) Do we let our groove inhibit our ability to grow spiritually?
To answer this question, we must do a bit of self-analyzation. After reading that dirty word, self-analyzation, I bet some of you are saying, Oh no, I don’t want to do this! I don’t need to change. You know what? I will just stop reading this article. Wait just a moment. Let me begin by asserting a confession once again, I do. It is often said, “What is familiar is easy.” It rings ever-so true within this scenario as well. It is easy to go through our ‘church routine’ and attend services just to be attending. It is easy to be comfortable rather than uncomfortable. It is easy to not participate in worship or, perhaps, participate in the same manner as we have always participated. It is easy to sleep-in and not attend worship. It is easy to be lukewarm within our worship, neither hot nor cold (Romans 3). But, are easy things good? Or, here is a better question: Is it healthy for our spiritual lives to be overtaken by our worldly groove? The obvious answer is no. As I mentioned before, just as the leaves are changing colors during fall, we should be changing and evolving within our own lives. This is true within our Christianity as well. We should be using our God given talents to further the kingdom of God. After all, that’s why he gave us those talents, right? But, here is another thought. How can we use our God given talents if we have not discovered our God given talents? As of recently, I am just beginning to find my talents. However, I found these by first making a commitment to myself: I will constantly push myself out of my comfort zone. It began through an elder, a preacher, and the radio station at the Paintsville Church of Christ. Since, it has begun a row of dominos that continue to fall. So, let me ask you a question, have you found your God-given talents? If so, are you sure? You might have more talents than you realize. But, in order to do so, you must push yourself out of your comfort zone. As a result, and here comes the big assertion, you might have to leave your groove!
3.) Do we let our perspective change over time, causing us to grow weary spiritually?
Let us start with a bible verse: John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” This is, perhaps, the most well-known bible verse within the entirety of scripture. If you were to poll a certain amount of people and ask the question: What is your favorite bible verse? I would imagine most, if not all, would say John 3:16. There are certain things within our Christianity that we hear all the time. To say a few others, Luke 19:10, “Jesus came to seek and save the lost.” Or, Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” We hear these verses so often that we become immune to the power and presence of the Word of God. Unfortunately, it is natural. When you hear things repeatedly, we, as humans, tend to lose perspective about what is being said. On the aforementioned poll, I would imagine these bible verses would all be polled within the top five. It is my belief that the single largest threat to our Christianity, perhaps greater than the presence of sin, is apathy towards the message of God. Much like our groove, hearing the same things repeatedly can cause another groove within our spiritual lives, or a groove of apathy. In other words, we develop a “ah whatever” attitude towards God, the Bible, and our Christianity. As a result, we grow weary spiritually. These things happen; we are humans and, therefore, are not perfect. However, that does not excuse our apathy towards God and his message. We can probably spout various verses of scripture from memorization, but do we understand the magnitude of what is being said in those verses of scripture? Do we know why God sent his only begotten Son to a cross that was not meant for him? Do we know why Jesus sought and saved the lost? Do we know why we can do all things through Him who strengthens us? If not, we must adjust our groove and focus in order to change our perspective. Then, and only then, can we truly overcome apathy while realizing the power, presence, and magnitude of the word of God.
So, let me leave you with a question: Are you grooving?