: strenuous, wearisome, and usually competitive activity or rush
: an activity, job, or situation in which there is a lot of competition and people are too busy to relax or enjoy themselves
I have never been drawn to the American Rat Race. Just the thought of it makes me tired. Long work hours, pursuing money/career at the cost of family relationships, carting kids around to day-care, schools, activities, eating on the run, and then falling into bed exhausted only to wake up and start all over again!
Last night as Mike and I were talking "life" and "goals" and "ideals", I realized that even if you bow out of the bigger American Rat Race, there are still smaller, sub-culture rat races that are easy to get sucked into.
Like Home Education. I love homeschooling, but isn't it easy within this movement to get caught up in the unspoken competition? Whether its grades or projects or activities or character? When you read the above definitions of "rat race", then you can see how something as wonderful as homeschooling can become a "strenuous, wearisome and competitive activity or rush" or a choice that makes your family "too busy to relax or enjoy themselves". A learning rat-race.
Like Parenting. Running children around to too many extracurricular activities, sleep-overs, "opportunities"...getting them up early and to bed too late. Eating on the go and cramming in life lessons as you fly down the highway. A mommy rat-race.
Like Christian ministry. Pushing and pushing to serve and witness and teach...and then comparing your ministry's fruit with someone else's (competition!) A "holy" rat-race.
Really any smaller lifestyle that looks like it should provide peace and simplicity can turn into its own kind of rat race if we allow it to.
Anytime we push and strive and rush and compare and compete within our own social and lifestyle circles, we are giving into a vicious cycle that leaves us just as weary and worn and neglectful of our families just like the big-money executives who work 80 hour weeks at the expense of their families.
We need to find our rest in Jesus. We need to not think that we can do it all or that we are super heroes. We need to let go of the perfectionistic pushing and allow our hearts to know the freedom of our limits. To find grace in falling short. To find humor in our messes. To be satisfied with weakness.
Because it is in that place, that He is Strong.