Do Everything Different

rulers‘Do everything different.’

That’s what they tell addicts who are trying to kick old habits.

Not just one thing.  Not just a slight variation.  Everything. Do everything different.

I don’t like different.

I like same.  Everything same.  Nice and neat, with locks and labels.  Ritual and routine,  wrap it round me and keep the bad things out.


The things I tend to do.  The situations I tend to avoid.


My time and my money.   What I eat.  What I wear.  How I live.

Impossible, change.   I don’t need it.  I don’t want to. 

Risky, change. Death and loneliness and depression and fear. Comes at you fast, tears you with its teeth. Ward it off with your wallet.   Count your shoes and hold your breath. Make rules to keep yourself safe.

Watch the rules spread, till there’s nowhere left.

Got thinner – but my heart was still fat. Washed in bleach, but couldn’t get white. Work harder.  Jump higher. Drink deeper.

I look out the window at the  neat lines of washing.

You can die living like this.

You can spend your life, resolving to get better.

Of course everything needs to be different. I need to be different. But nothing changes.

Repentance. Bad word.  It means Condemnation, Judgement, Not Good Enough. Right?

Except – I got that already. With my rules.  Not life: but death in increments.

True repentance is not like my rules. It’s the new me I’ve always longed for.  Not a project I strive for, a gift given in Jesus:


“If anyone is in Christ they are a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17)


Do everything different? It’s already been done. Be better? I’m better than better, I’m new. New life, new identity, new destiny. Every day I can put those rituals in their place- because what they never delivered, I’ve already got.

This  God shows us how to break the rules.

4 thoughts on “Do Everything Different

  1. So Jesus has ‘made all things new’ , the fresh Jesus to be sought anew, in place of all that we have made ritualized, tired, crusty , like old bread, and no good. And yet we can still be scared, returning to old ways of habit and ritual and backward ways of thinking and then what? …a place of death as you say. I am a contradiction, today i must have dealt in the ways of death, dozens of times, my peace shattered and all I could do was rant and accentuate the negative. Why? I must love to complain about an incomplete, imperfect world, and I am not making it, at times, much better, at all! I was not strong person today, for I wanted my actions to be reciprocated and that mutual feeling of ‘we’re in this (whatever it may be) together’ fellow feeling. I was expecting too much, trying not to suffer and break sweat and forgetting to just get on with ‘it’. It can take more than courage to ‘break sweat’ and really go for it – especially if the whole Western lifestyle of immoderation is to be considered addictively destructive (Oliver James territory) and the path of least resistance/greatess comfort , sought instead. I have dipped in the same well of destruction, even if the symptoms are not quite the same as you describe.

  2. Thanks Tim. The heart is deceitful above all things – thank God we’re on Jesus’ heart.

  3. Emma,
    On the most difficult days, I will often come onto your blog and look through your posts, old and new – and I always find something to read that helps lead me back to Jesus, to looking at Him, and to having hope again.
    Just wanted to say thank you.

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