People often speak of needing a change of scenery, a chance to see the world with fresh eyes. In 1 Kings 13, there is a strange story about a “man of God” who is sent on a mission but is given some curiously specific directions from God about the trip home—specifically, not to return by the way he came. It is never explained why, but—of course—when divine instructions are not followed there is trouble (in his case, with a lion). But what does it mean to not return by the way you came? Our routines, our habits, even our daily commute, can shape us in ways we never intended, and may not notice. Habits can create patterns of behavior, even unconscious reactions. They can blind us to the mystery beyond our habits, our prejudices, our field of vision.
Humble my heart, and open my eyes to the wideness of your world,
the broadness of your love, and the beauty of your creation.
Renew in me a sense of curiosity,
let me begin to see with fresh eyes the wonder of all that you have made.
Give me the courage to shake off the dust of comfort, security, routines, and habits,
and the faith to follow you on a new road home.
Whether we risk facing lions or just traffic jams and laundry baskets, going home by a different route, trying something new, can open our eyes to a world we have never noticed before. Today, step out of your routine, make a point of changing something in your daily life. Do you go for an evening walk? Change your route. Say hello to a stranger as you go. Need groceries? Try a different store (or a different aisle). Let yourself see the world with fresh eyes and rediscover your curiosity. Don’t be afraid; be renewed.