The law of requisite variety

By Dave Henning / June 30, 2015

“Routine is one key to spiritual growth. . . . But when the routine becomes routine, you have to change the routine.”- Mark Batterson

As Mark Batterson continues Chapter 11 of The Grave Robber, he asserts that if we want to get well, we need to hear what we’d rather not hear and do what we’re disinclined to do.  He adds: “You can’t expect God to do the supernatural if you aren’t willing to do the natural.”

Pastor Batterson notes that during his college basketball career, he had reconstructive surgery for a torn ACL in both knees.  When he got up out of bed for the first time following surgery, the blood rush to his extremities created pain so acute he almost passed out.  So, it truly was an amazing feat for the invalid not only to stand up, but also walk after thirty-eight years.  He changed his mat-sitting routine.

Similarly, if we want to experience the miraculous, we need to change our routine.  Mark states that, according to the law of requisite variety, “the survival of any system depends on its capacity to cultivate variety in its internal structures.”  In other words, prolonged equilibrium or routine becomes counterproductive.

If we continually exercise the same muscles in the same way, they start adapting and stop growing.  We need to disorient them.  The same is true in the spiritual realm.  Small changes in routine start with a small step of faith.  But, Mark states, “that one small step often turns into a giant leap.”

Today’s question: What spiritual routines could benefit from revitalization?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Self-fulfilling prophecies”


About the author

Dave Henning


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