Hot dogs. I do not like hot dogs. I’m sorry if you are a “dog” lover, but I just can’t stomach the things!
That is, except when I was pregnant with both of our sons. Oh, girl, then I actually craved hot dogs. I couldn’t get enough of them, and personally downed a minimum of a pack a week.
For all my experience with the fabulous franks, however, I had no idea that I really didn’t know how to eat them! I learned, though. Boy, did I learn!
And it was my son, Connor, who taught me—back when he was only four years old.
Now, I have no idea why I thought he would like hot dogs if I didn’t. I can’t even remember why I bought those things for him. But, evidently, he was not too fond of them either because I had to bribe him to eat one.
It was lunchtime and Connor was stalling. That hot dog on his plate was completely uninteresting to him. I told him he needed to eat his hot dog and carrots, and then he could have some strawberries and whipped cream. As motivation, I set the plate of strawberries and the bowl of whipped cream on the table right in front of him.
The strategy must have worked. Connor practically inhaled that hot dog. I remember how excited he was. He said it was the best hot dog he’d ever tasted. I couldn’t believe it.
I finally figured out why his ordinary dog was so delicious, though. He was doing something only a four-year-old would do: dipping every bite into the whipped cream. He wanted to share it with me and offered me a taste! But, I casually declined, trying not to gag.
My point here is twofold.
First, never dip your strawberries in whipped cream that once belonged to a four-year-old hot-dog connoisseur.
Second, and much more importantly, we’ve all got to try to think outside the bun. According to Connor, if you don’t put whipped cream on your hot dog, it will taste “plain.” And he let me know that he was really tired of plain.
Oh, girl, I get tired of plain too. Do you?
Sometimes our lives are simply plain, and we can grow weary of the “same ol’, same ol’.” Our routines become ruts. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Jesus came that we might have life, and not just plain, vanilla, one-size-fits-all, run-of-the-mill life, but life that is abundant.
“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]” (John 10:10, AMP).
What are we talking about here?
The kind of life that is dipped in sweetness and smothered with all the good things of God. But, in order to experience all that abundant life has to offer, we may have to climb out of some ruts!
So, how do we do that?
Sister, here are two suggestions on how to break free of ruts and embrace the abundant life God has for you.
1. Consider Your Opposite Impulse
Ask yourself, “What is the exact opposite of what I would normally do?”
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If you gravitate toward safe, adventure is your opposite impulse.
If you lean toward being a spectator, then become a participant instead.
If you run to plain, then pick pizazz next time.
If you always pull out the beige blouse, then that loud fusha top is your opposite impulse!
Ask yourself what that exciting woman would do. You know, the one you often say about, “I could never do that!” Then determine to do that!
Train yourself to take some risks and get outside your comfort cell … uh, I mean zone. But, truly sister, these things can become a prison we create.
2. Cultivate Your Taste for Adventure
Find one thing that is a “I would never do that” and do that.
Yep, zip line, shop without a coupon, use extra salt on your green beans, or initiate a conversation with a stranger.
Make a list of things you would do if you weren’t you! Then, start to do some of those things. And grab a friend to join you. We are always stronger and more brave when we have a buddy!
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Sister, you’ve got nothing to lose but boredom. Wouldn’t it be fun to look back on this year and say, “This was the year I lived abundantly!”
So, if you’re tired of plain, consider your opposite impulse and cultivate your taste for adventure!
And, if you’re going to eat hot dogs, may I recommend the whipped cream?
What’s one way you can break out of your comfort zone and experience more fully the abundant life God has for you?