Definition of Rote


: the use of memory usually with little intelligence

learn by rote


: mechanical or unthinking routine or repetition

a joyless sense of order, rote, and commercial hustle

— L. L. King

As is often the case, I woke up with the intent of seeking out God. Most of you who know me know that I am quite passionate about Him. He often speaks to me “IN THE SHOWER!” I guess it’s where he has my full attention. I stand there with my Aqua Notes, ready and waiting. Today, I heard the word ROTE.

As you can see from the definition of rote, it’s not an exciting way to live. In fact, my personality goes against it on so many levels. But, in being truthful, I can see where I have allowed it to rule my life for many years because of fear of change, fear of failure, fear of what people think, etc.

Yesterday I was reading about an illustrator from Italy. She wrote about how she wanted to be a painter and novelist since she was 8. Now she is well known in her country and her art is amazing! She has a very long list of accomplishments and awards. It’s was so cool to see! I became inspired!

As the light went on in my heart, a questioned followed. “What is your passion Leslie? What are you doing now to pursue it?” I began to think of my successes and failures and dreams and what I was doing now to pursue them. It’s easy to walk down the “shoulda woulda coulda” road but it’s never been a road God let’s me travel on. He’s always there to point things out to me and spur me on. I love that about Him.

I have often lived by “rote” because it’s easier that way. It’s the path of least resistance. It somehow feels safe. Yet, a whole life of ROTE goes against God for so many reasons. First, it’s uninspired and can be boring exasperating, frustrating and depressing.

Imagine brushing your teeth… then thinking about it for hours…and wondering how others brush their teeth and wondering if you are doing it right and if you should get a new tooth brush or if you had the right kind of tooth brush and maybe you should watch a YouTube on how to brush your teeth better or buy more expensive tooth paste. ..or extend your thinking to include teeth whitening or braces or go to a trade show on dental care…aaack! BORING!

ROTE… I have spent hours on my art and hours trying to explain it to others and hope for their approval. It has taken me off the creative course. No one understands your creative process more than you. If you share your process before it’s time you risk aborting the finale, the ta da moment. The hard part is waiting. I for one, get so so excited to share that I can’t contain myself and I sabotage my efforts. (Haha! I’m working on that). It’s kind of like sharing your baby pictures! Do people really want to see your baby on the ultrasound after your prenatal check ups each month? ..or wait until that perfect little bouncing baby pops out screaming? (There are those kindred ones who love seeing your progress but beware of the stompers of dreams.)

It’s also important to know who you are working with and if you share the same vision. If you don’t, you won’t grow. You will stumble along on a path that is not yours or you will be on someone else’s path. It’s ok to jump ship. It does not mean the ship is bad, but to get to your destination you better take that leap of faith. If you are not leaping in your life are you living by faith?

The Bible speaks of God as being new every morning. It also talks about us being created in His image. We were created to create! Our lives should reflect our creators.

We may do some uninspired things by rote, like putting on our clothes in the morning and brushing our teeth, but in a world of decisions to be made, we should rethink “rote” through out our lives.

Let’s see, what should I change Lord? How can I begin living by leaping today? What rote habits have tied me down? Who am I listening to? Who must I please besides you? I’m listening…..