The Same Old, Same Old

Thursday, March 23, 2023
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Pass Me Not O Gentle Saviour"1 (Lyrics)

Denver, my ninety-five-pound dog, has a habit. He routinely stands beside the dog food bin licking its outside. Day in and day out, the same old, same old: lick, lick, lick. By his behaviour, you would think that I starved him, even though he is anything but skinny.

Day in and day out, the same old, same old happens: nothing. The food within never makes its way through the bin walls into his mouth. The bin never wears thin and collapses, allowing him to gobble up its entire contents. The only thing that happens is that he eventually goes away unfulfilled, and once again, I have to wipe down the outside of the bin once he's finished with his futile endeavour.

As I have watched him exercise this habit for years now, I am reminded of the quotation usually attributed to Albert Einstein: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Yet, how often we are guilty of doing exactly that! We get into a routine, a habit, and we just keep sticking to it, even if it never changes anything. Marriages and relationships fall apart because people are unwilling to change or to do things differently. We hate our job, but we refuse to go back to school or to look for another one, because we keep thinking that things will change or we are simply too afraid to do things differently. We complain about our weight or our lack of being in shape, and yet we keep doing the same old thing the same old way, and we never experience change. Why? Why? Why?

This is something that we need to consider consciously and take the time to sincerely pray over. We need to discern what is at the root of our behaviour.

Proverbs 18:15 – The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out. (NIV)

To discern is to perceive or recognize something — something that God is able to open our eyes to if we make and take the time to seek Him out and allow Him to do it for us.

Today, let us choose not to be a Denver — doing the same old, same old and never getting anywhere. Rather, let us choose to be like the great leader Joshua, whom God commanded, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9 NIV) Let us stop doing the same old, same old and allow God to do a brand-new thing in our lives, wherever we may need it. Let us not mimic insanity by our futile behaviour, but embrace a renewed mind in Jesus Christ and become more than conquerors.

Prayer: Father God, reveal to each of us today where we may be following the definition of insanity in our lives. Open our hearts to discern knowledge from You, and open our ears to hear Your wisdom, that our lives will not follow habits of futility but embrace the victory of positive change in Christ, in Whose name we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Tawatinaw, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    What wonderful and needed advice!!!

    Thank you, Lynne. Lord, help me not to be a Denver!

    Great advice and prayer. Thanks and blessings Lynne!

    A good routine is very important, especially as you age and become forgetful.

    Thank you, Lynne, for sharing this encouraging devotional with us.

    Reminds me of Jersey cows and their licking! Good writing. Thank you.
    Spring arriving in Atlin yet?

    Thanks for the advice. Thank you also for sharing your gift of writing and encouragement with us. God bless and Shalom.

    Rick Warren made the same theme which he named ‘Reset’. Humanity is
    stuck chasing their past for new answers. Like me I need to be reminded of
    my repeated behaviour. Thanks Lynne. Blessings.

    Dear Lynne,
    What wise advice! Joshua 1:9 is such an encouraging verse to memorize and practice.
    Thanks again.

    Good morning, dear Lynne. This one is near and dear to me.
    Our dog does the very same thing as Denver. And I am the same as I pop another piece of chocolate in my mouth.
    You hit the nail on the head!
    Thank you!

    Hi Lynne,
    Thank you for your inspiring stories.
    I love hearing about all your adventures in Atlin, and the little girls and animals in your life.
    Please keep it up and remember we are praying for you.
    Thanks, Lynne.

    Thank you, Lynne, for another of your very special and mindful devotionals. You do a great job of interweaving actions of your pets with things we as humans also have a habit of doing. Your statement to “embrace the victory of positive change” is great advice and our loving Lord will definitely help us do that as we go to Him with our request. Blessings for these positive and encouraging writings you prepare.

    Good morning, Lynne,
    Yes, we do get into a routine don’t we. Bad ones as well as good ones though. Thank you for your encouraging words. As one of our Ministers used to say, “Here is a question for you” What is a Denver – I looked it up – Omelette – I don’t get the connection.

    Hello Lynne
    I really appreciate your devotionals with stories of the animals in your life. The applications to our lives are very clear, and amusing, too. I have just forwarded this latest one to my daughter in Australia.
    I pray for you and your family daily. I am still praying for Lindy to overcome her learning difficulties.
    Thank you again for your insightful and encouraging devotionals.

    Good morning, Lynne,
    I am sure that this title will bring up different ideas for different readers. I think Denver is enjoying licking the container because it reminds him of how much pleasure he gets from eating the food which is inside.
    I definitely understand your message about when we do the same thing over and over and hope the result will be different. If we are doing the same thing over and over like my knitting and pleased with the calming effect and the product produced, it is okay. It is when we think it will change something is where we get stuck.
    Definitely asking God for the wisdom to move forward is good advice. It is interesting how we can see a different picture when we focus and listen for God’s help. Thanks for sharing about Denver and many ways that we get stuck. Blessings.

    Thank You.

    Thank You Lynne.

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