Have you ever found yourself in a ditch, seemingly unable to move forward or backward? Despite your best efforts of rocking your car back and forth, the tires continue to spin, throwing mud in all directions and ultimately digging the ditch deeper until the car is sitting on its frame. Perhaps, instead of being stuck in a ditch with your car, you find your life in a similar rut. Facing what appears to be insurmountable challenges, and in spite of your best efforts, you find yourself unable to move forward or backward until you finally give up, leaving your life sitting on its proverbial frame. In both cases, we become victims of our own inability to see alternative methods for “getting out of the rut.” We move forward until we can no longer go … and then we rock back. But what if forward and backward were not the only two directions?
As a young man, Dwayne Chapman made poor decisions about whom he chose as friends. Out of his desire to belong to a group, he joined a motorcycle gang, the Devil’s Disciples. One day, in the midst of a drug deal gone bad, a gang member shot and killed a man at the scene. Panic ensued and the members immediately fled. Although Dwayne did not commit the murder, he was considered an accessory and ended up serving years of hard time, working on a chain gang. During that time he re-evaluated his entire philosophy in life … he made a turn. He began to realize that his core beliefs, values and rules had created great pain. In the years following his release, he pursued a number of colorful, but unsuccessful, careers. When brought in front of a judge for failure to make child support payments, the judge helped Dwayne make another significant turn. In lieu of payment, the judge suggested that Dwayne use the distinctions he had made in prison to help law-enforcement officials track down other violators. Today, Dwayne, better known as Dog the Bounty Hunter, has become a successful and well-known figure. Being stuck in a rut for much of his early life, Dwayne found that by turning the wheels in a slightly different direction, he could finally get his life on track.
Are you in that proverbial rut? Do you find yourself rocking back and forth, spinning your wheels, only to find that you are digging your hole deeper instead of getting out? Sometimes our success depends on simply turning the wheels of our life’s direction on a slightly different angle; one which allows us to change the circumstances surrounding our current position and offers us an opportunity to “get out of the rut.” Remember, forward and backward are not the only two directions. Sometimes we have to go in a different direction to get where we want to go!