We often speak of “being in a rut” as a bad thing — and it can be, for sure. But there are also some good “ruts” to be in. Psalm 23:3 speaks of some of them, when it says: “He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”
The word “paths” in this familiar verse, according to Brown/Driver/Briggs lexicon, means “wagon tracks”, where the wagons have gone before, leaving their hard, beaten-down path — yes, and often “ruts”!
It is instructive to us that David counts it a blessing to be led by the Lord in “the ruts of righteousness.” Many in our day want to be “original” and “creative”, and “the same old thing” is often looked upon with disdain. But David reminds us that righteousness can be found in “the well-worn wagon tracks.” Think about it: those ruts often exist for a reason: because the old way was actually the best way!
There are times when the drive for “originality” in Christianity has actually led away from righteousness. This doesn’t mean that we are never to be creative, but we also need to realize that it is often best to stay in the old wagon tracks — especially “the wagon tracks of righteousness.” There are some “ruts” which are good to be in:
— it’s good to be in the “rut” of sound and orthodox doctrine.
— it’s good to be in a “rut” of going to church
— it’s good to be in a “rut” of the daily disciplines of prayer and the word
— it’s good to be in a “rut” of tithing and giving
— it’s good to be in the “rut” of having a family day or date night
— it’s good to be in the “rut” of being a dependable employee
— it’s good to be in the “rut” of holding your temper
And we could go on and on.
Are you “in a rut” today? In some ways, I hope you are! It should be our prayer that God would lead us, as He did David, in “the ruts of righteousness”!