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Faith Focus: Climbing out of a spiritual rut

Ruth Reichl has carved quite a career for herself out of food. She began as a chef, then became a food critic for major newspapers and now she’s working on food-related television shows such as Top Chef Masters.

She loves food, right down to the smallest detail. When a dish is prepared correctly, every bite is an adventure, and her mission is to communicate it to the masses.

When working as the food critic at "The New York Times," Ruth lost her passion for a while, possibly because of the routine she created for herself. She noticed she became more cynical and hardened. Until one day with Ed*.

Ed knew the New York City restaurant scene like no other. He knew the neighborhood eateries that had yet to be discovered. He knew chefs personally and relished how they prepared food.

Ed introduced Ruth to many of these people, including John, the owner of a Brooklyn confectionary – “the last of the old-time candy men.” John made every piece of candy, caramel apple, cotton candy and sweet treat in the store.

“Isn’t he amazing?” Ed asked Ruth after leaving John’s store. “People like that just make me glad I’m alive.” Settling into their car with a newly-purchased lollipop, Ruth felt the same way. Her passion had returned.

It’s easy to lose your passion in a spiritual rut. If we’re not careful, the activities of weekly corporate worship, daily devotional time and regular prayer can become rituals that lose their meaning. We end up mistaking the exercises of our faith for actual faith.

In times like these, it’s helpful to do what Ruth did – reconnect with what originally motivated you. Why did you come to faith? What was your life and attitude like shortly after you accepted Christ as Lord? Do you remember how excited you were?

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” -2 Corinthian 5:17

By remembering these experiences, we are reminded of all Christ has done for us. We become overwhelmed by the work he has done in our lives, and our passion returns as we reconnect with him.

Deeper reflection

• Why did you come to Christ?
• What was your life and attitude like shortly after you accepted Christ as Lord?

Next steps

• Change the pattern in which you read Scripture. If you’re reading it chronologically, try reading it topically. If you’re reading it topically, try chronologically.
• When someone becomes a new Christian, they are often excited about sharing their new faith with others. Check out buckner.org/missions for mission trips where you can share your faith in a new way.

*This story came from Reichl's 2005 memoir, "Garlic and Sapphires."

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