Sunday, August 8, 2010

Escaping the Rat Race

rat race
Function: noun
Date: 1939

: 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.





8 comments:

Angela said...

Amen. There are too many rat races in this world-- so easy to lose one's individuality and reality. Thank you for being so encouraging in living a simple life that glorifies Jesus-- you're such an encouragement to as I walk with Him.

Angela said...

*you're such an encouragement to me

And thank you for being so honest as well. I love that about your postings!

Bonita said...

Oh how badly I need to absorb this truth and let it sink in! Such wise words!

♥ Tina, the quiet homemaker said...

Oh, such wise words. A wonderful post, thank you so much!

Bethany said...

GREAT POST!!! Oh how I wish this came a month ago LOL!!! I JUST posted about how my life has turning into a taxi driving service for all of my daughter's activities, which seems to get busier and busier with each year that passes. I choose to be a SAHM so that I can be with my kids and enjoy them while they are young meanwhile have a full schedule that is already draining me by day 2. It's my way of keeping our minds busy while my husband is deployed and off of him I guess.

Amber said...

Amen, and Amen. You are so right. Thanks for talking about this so clearly it is something I needed to hear.

Sandy said...

"...to find grace in falling short..." I love that. Linking to you today.

BethS said...

Once again, Aimee, you've nailed it. This is so good. Thank you.