Have you ever eaten a stale Oreo that’s lost its crunch? Or caught a whiff of a stagnant pond on the summer breeze? Stale, stagnant, static … these are not pleasant words.
According to a recent poll, more than 40 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with their jobs. The divorce rate has hovered somewhere around 50 percent for decades. The average stay in a local church is two years. And that’s the pastors.
There are lots of individual reasons for these numbers, but I’d be willing to bet most or all of them could be lumped under boredom and/or burnout. Boredom and burnout are killers. Bored kids fight with each other, make messes, and dream up all sorts of mischief. Bored adults are no different. Burned-out employees (and bosses) have lousy attitudes, offer poor customer service, and do second-rate work
It’s time to take a lesson from some of our best-known celebrities—the Madonnas, the Demi Moores, and the Robert Downeys. Stars whose careers go stale, or who hit the proverbial wall face first. The ones who disappear for a time, and then emerge from the shadows with a new style, sound, appearance, and/or attitude.
When our relationships smell suspiciously stagnant, when our GOOD habits grow dull and static and lose their luster. When our exercise routine is… well, routine, and we’re too burned out on our projects to finish them with excellence, we need to practice the art of reinvention.
I like to read through the Bible every year. After the first couple of years, I found myself bored with my Bible. GASP! The guilt, the shame! I finally just stopped and asked God what to do. His leading was so simple I almost missed it: Buy a new Bible, in a different version. Having fresh new pages to highlight and underline, with slightly different phrasing, made all the difference. With one simple change, I reinvented a habit that continues to add value to my life.
Reinvention demands that you be willing to take a risk. You’re going to have to put your identity on the line. It requires creativity and an open mind. It asks you to put forth effort when it would be easier to quit. And like Paul, you’ll have to forget those things that are behind and look forward to the things that are ahead of you. That means you don’t have to live out of your failures, and you don’t get to live off your past successes.
Wouldn’t it just be easier to start over? No, not really. Reinvention brings our strengths with us. Starting over takes us back to the bottom of the ladder.
Are you bored? Burned out? Suffering from stale, stagnant, static habits or relationships?
What one thing can you do right now to start the process of reinvention in the area that you’re struggling with the most?