There are many situations in which I have to do things over and over again. I find great comfort in many things that I do I can count on to be repetitive in nature because it means that I don’t have to struggle too hard to get them done. It makes life simple and easy. I couldn’t always say that when I was a kid learning to play the piano or in school learning algebra. These things require much practice, so repetitive actions become necessary to ensure that you achieve the desired result.
But repetition isn’t always a desired trait. There are times when repetition can get in the way of progress. There is a saying that goes, “Insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over with the expectation of having a different result.” Repetition can be the cause of stagnation and even regression. Repetition can put you in a cycle of continual failure if you aren’t careful to take notice.
When Moses was leading the people of Israel on their exodus from Egypt to their promised land, God had given him instructions that would supply the people with water along their journey. The first time, God instructed Moses to strike the rock. However, there came another time when Moses was to provide water, but God instructed him to simply speak to the rock. But the people had angered Moses. In his frustration, Moses reverted back to what he knew first. He struck the rock.
This repeat action cost Moses and those of his generation from entering into the Promised Land. It took 40 years to grow up a generation of people who both neither held the memory of a slave mentality, nor were limited to the memories of their past experiences. So often we can become victims of our past successes that we want to live there or recreate them. They become tradition to us.
Many of the issues facing the US is a result of people still stuck in systems and thought processes that were for an age and time when it worked and even made sense. In the Industrial Age it made sense to go to school, then get a job, retire at 65 and live off the pension. Today in the Information Age, things are happening at such an accelerated pace that it is so easy to become obsolete before the ink has even dried on your diploma.
The financial decisions that are being made in families as well as a nation that once worked aren’t working, yet it is obvious that we are continuing in a cycle of repetition that is not bringing us out of the stagnant waters. Money is called currency for a reason. It is meant to flow. But it will only flow for those who will open themselves up to another level of thinking that works in the age in which we live.
- Mark Your Track Record: There is a saying that goes, “Those who fail to remember history will be condemned to repeat it.” It’s true. People tend to revert back to what they knew last, so if you can track your history to see what it is that you are doing, it is more likely that you’ll know when you are going in a vicious cycle.
- Look for New Avenues: The one thing that plagues young people in high school sports is that they often forsake the academics for the athletics, not knowing whether or not it will produce the results of a professional career in sports. And even if they do make it to professional status, longevity does not guarantee success or promising transition after their career is over. I always like having multiple options. In business they say that it’s never good to put all your eggs in one basket; that you should diversify. Having multiple streams of income gives you flexibility. If one thing should fall through, you still have others that will keep you afloat.
- Consult with Others: Sometimes it helps to have another set of eyes, ears and brain working. The bible even says that, “there is safety in the multitude of counselors.” Often there is an art to the challenges we face. Great leaders never make a decision without consulting a team, even if they decide that what they were thinking was the right thing. It gives them perspective.
As we are now into the second month of this year, you can see how you’ve done so far in these first five weeks and are able to compare it to the progress and plans you set for yourself. You’re able to note the differences between this year and last year. Did you already break your resolutions? Have you veered off your strategic plan? Did you set goals which you keep telling yourself you will do with each new start of the year?
Break free of your repetitive notions and break stride by doing something fresh and different from what use to be. There is nothing worse than stale bread. God always wants us to have fresh manna. Pray that He will give you, “this day your daily bread.” Like Moses, God wants to show you he can do in, through and for you something great in a way you’ve never seen before.
QUESTION: What repetitive notions do you have that seem to constantly get in your way of you getting where you need or desire to be?