I love to drive roads that I have never driven before. It can be really frustrating for my passengers (wife and daughter mostly) to travel with me because of my winding roads that occasionally take longer to get from point A to point B than it should.
The thrill and excitement of seeing new things and exploring different neighborhoods seems like a minor annoying habit but it is more than an annoying habit. It is my little way of breaking out of my mundane and routine.
I like all human beings have a need for spontaneity. I need to find my way outside the box in order to be able to appreciate the comfort of the box.
It's like going on vacation. I just itch and twitch to get out and get going on vacation. I can't wait to be gone and live a new life. But as the vacation comes to a close, I can't wait to get back to my life, back to my routine. I can't wait to back into my box.
The same dynamics can take place in relationships, too, especially long term relationships.
No matter what type of relationship we are in (marriage, friendship, child/parent, God/Jesus) that relationship can become stale.
So how do we jump outside the box of a relationship in a healthy way without damaging the relationship that makes us desire to come back to that relationship in a new and desirous way?
I think the first thing that we must understand is that if we have made a covenant commitment with a relationship that relationship is for life (unless that relationship becomes destructive and that's another topic for another day).
So before we seek ways to jump out of the box, we must firmly plant in our minds that those long term relationships are permanent and anything we do outside of the box must not damage our long term relationships.
If we are a Christian, we must not do anything that would compromise our relationship with Jesus Christ. If we are married, we must not do anything that would compromise our relationship with our spouse. If we are parents, we must not do anything that would compromise our relationship with our children.
So anything we do outside the box of those relationships, to bring about a greater longing for those permanent relationships, should never compromise those long term relationships.
This is one of the biggest mistakes that people making in seeking to pursue creativity and spontaneity to break out of the mundane. They think they have to act in a way that compromises their long term relationships, instead of seeking ways to add spice to those long term relationships.
So how do we break out of the box of routine?
Here are but a few suggestions?
*Take time to retreat with God (men's retreat/women's retreat/time during your day)
*Vary your activity times (things you do in morning do at night and vice verse)
* Sign up for classes/workshops
*Do things with your long term earthly relationships that are out of the ordinary (ball room dancing classes/going to new places/doing different projects together)
*Take up a new hobby
*Take up genealogy (yes this is very interesting work and you begin to get hooked)
*Take up gardening (this is great therapy)
*Re-read good books that you haven't read in a long time
We must remember that God has made us creative and inquisitive human beings. And to that end we must remember that living inside the box is necessary but there are times that we must jump outside the box to discover more of God's creation.