Deer give us a great example of how patterns change according to one's needs. Right now, in many parts of the country, we are seeing a changing pattern. I always break these down into three periods; early spring through late summer, late summer through fall, and winter. Let me explain. In the early spring through late summer, the land is full of all sorts of food. The deer do not have to travel far to get a variety of tasty foods. During these times, they are somewhat unpredictable because there is no particular place that is more special than another. Late summer through the fall is much different. During this time, soft mast such as apples, pears, and other fruits begin to fall off the trees. And since deer love these, you can trust the fact they will show up with regularity. This also goes for their favorite nuts - the acorns. This hard mast will show up on trees that are both out in the open and hidden deep in the woods. These will become a major source of nutrition especially as the leaves and plants succumb to the upcoming frosts. Lastly, there's the winter months when a deer's food sources will amount to what acorns are left and the grasses that are in open fields. Each of these periods will cause a deer's normal pattern to be changed. And it's all according to need.
Similarly, the needs of individuals change over time and as a result our patterns change. A great example is those couples who have been without children for the first few years of marriage and then decide to have children. Talk about changing patterns! I'll guarantee whatever one was doing before children has significantly changed after the arrival of those little stinkers. The changing of needs has determined a change of what once was a normal pattern. It is very important in our spiritual life to evaluate whether or not our needs are different than they were, let's say than a few years ago. They actually should be. I would hope you and I have grown to the place that what once met our needs no longer does. I would hope we are continuing to grow in a way so that, on occasion, we look around and say "I'm really tired of the same ole grass, and sure would like to chomp on a few tasty apples." But in order to enjoy the new crop of goodies God has for you, you are going to have to change the pattern you are in. I don't know what it might be, but I can tell you this…. If you find yourself waning in your spiritual life, it might be that God is trying to get you to realize you are not the person you use to be and what was good for you then, is not what you need now. It's foolish to keep browsing on spiritual milk when God has other stuff for you now. But it's up to you to move.