Escaping the Rat Race & WLWW Link-Up Party!
The term “rat race” began in the 1940’s with the invention of modern day conveniences. More opportunities and choices were available to us than ever before and soon some felt like they were endlessly busy but often times with meaningless things.
Wikepedia defines the rat race as a term used for an endless, self-defeating or pointless pursuit. It conjures up the image of the futile efforts of a lab rat trying to escape while running around a maze or in a wheel. In an analogy to the modern city, many rats in a single maze expend a lot of effort running around, but ultimately achieve nothing meaningful either collectively or individually.
Those who first used this term would never be able to imagine the modern day conveniences we experience in 2012! We have more time saving appliances and resources available to us than ever before and yet it seems that our stress levels only continue to rise.
Is it God’s will for God’s people to be trapped in this rat race?
Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but at succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter at all.~Francis Chan
So often we fear failure. We fear that our children won’t make the ball team or get good enough grades. We fear wrinkles, grey hairs or missing out on the latest and greatest new gadget for our kids. But do we ever fear being successful at things that – at the end of the day when we stand before God’s throne – don’t really matter at all?
Today I had big plans for our day – it was supposed to be a family day (daddy was off work) and my daughter got a belly ache right in the middle of the day and messed up all of our fun plans. I was on a mission to make a great day for the kids – but all she really needed was a mama who loved her and cared about her belly. My plans faded into the distance – and I was the one disappointed – cause this mama gets sucked into the rat race sometimes! What mattered to her was not the long list of plans I had but that her mommy would sit quietly on her bed rubbing her hair while she cried. And this forced pause in our day – reminded me of what really matters in life.
The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.~Proverbs 14:1
The rat race has the potential to tear a family apart. Many families barely have time to eat dinner together these days, much less read God’s word or pray together. Last night I sat in bed with the kids singing our “God is an Awesome God” and a few other favorites. It’s in these slow moments…moments of song, back rubs, and story time – that I am most fulfilled as a mom. As we write our to-do lists may we remember to include the simple things. Let’s build our houses with wisdom.
Walk with the King,
If you are new to Women Living Well then you are in for a treat!
It’s my favorite day of the week! It’s Women Living Well’s Wednesday Link-Up Party!!!
Join the fun, do a little blog hopping and don’t forget if you join below -please add the Women Living Well Wednesdays button to your post so your readers can find us here! (Posts can include the topics of marriage, parenting, homemaking, homeschooling, finances, recipes, organization and more!)
Such a great post! I’m a working mom and sometimes I work 9-10 hour days. I really have to evaluate how I spend my time and how I prioritize. You’re right, sometimes, we have to scratch our own agenda to “go with the flow”, and savor the moments, no matter how they fall into place.
This is so true and so important to be said! It’s so very easy to get sucked into that rat race, and at some point a family realizes they can’t get back any wasted time. Once a moment is gone, it’s gone forever! Thank you for this reminder!
Thanks for this post. I really enjoyed the reminder. This Mother’s day my daughter, who has 2 sons ages 7 and 4, took some mommy and daughter time and stepped out of the rat race for a little while. It was so wonderful to spend some quality time with her. We get so precious little of that. Some days I really wish we could step back in time a few years and slow down!!
Courtney thank you for this post. It is a great reminder of what we need to be pursuing, and what we need to leave behind. Makes me ponder my own life and to-do lists and want to prioritize the things on it! It is interesting to see the world we live in today, as you said with all of the modern conveniences, and we get no where really. Society is getting worse, not better. We would do well to return to more simple times, and to trust in the Lord above all else. I also love the quote by Mr. Chan.
~Nicole, Working Kansas Homemaker
I have a friend who miscarried recently and they’re angry with God. is there anything I can do or say to make them feel better – not be so angry with life/God? a way for them to find their path.
I have a friend who found “Safe in the Arms of God” by John MacArthur a great comfort. Is your friend a believer? If this is a recent pain, please be careful with your words. It’s important to give her time and space to grieve.
Yes!! I was literally just thinking/talking about this with some girls about 30 min. ago. We were just talking about fears we have and I was thinking about success and how I think I may be just as afraid of that if not more so than failure. (Esp. if it’s because I’m succeeding at thing that don’t matter) But also because of what success does to people. It seems easier to trust God when things are hard for me than when everything is going good.
I have a child who seems to have high nurturing needs. He needs much more nurture than my oldest ever did and I was a nanny in my younger days for a total of 14 children of the course of those years and none of them seemed to need the amount of nurturing attention my youngest seems to need. Sometimes I get upset with myself when my house is messier than I want it to be and get frustrated with myself as a homemaker. However, last night as I was talking about how I was feeling and how upset I was that the house did not look the way I was trying for it to when my husband got home to greet him with he reminded me that I did not leave the workforce to clean the house. He pointed out that if it was only a cleaner house that we were after I could have kept working and hired someone to clean it. He reminded me of our purpose for me being home. That purpose was to homeschool and to nurture our children in a way that only a mommy can. So he said that he wanted me to choose the nurture over the cleaning as the dirt will always be there, but our children are only in our home for such a short period of time. He then let me go for a walk all by myself and then helped me get some of my housework done. I appreciate his attitude so much and for reminding me of what is important especially during this time of year. Our family business is seasonal type of work so this is the time of year when he puts in 12-14 hour days. My husband rocks and is such a blessing to me.
Those quiet, restful moments are some of the best memories we have with our young adult daughters. Bedtime, sitting quietly and reading out loud, as the girls lean in close to enjoy the pictures; taking a walk and challenging each other to notice beauty.
You make a great point about embracing those those times and still being flexible. The bigger challenge, I think, is saying learning to say no and letting go of stuff and activities that add to that rat race so that we can say yes to the things that really matter.
Oh, Courtney, you are so right! Remember Lily Tomlin? She said something like, “When you win the rat race, you’re still a rat.” Yes.
That is so true JoAnne! I may need to frame this quote.
Thank you Courtney! Just what I needed to be reminded of today!
Thank you so much for all you do, Courtney! 🙂 I love following your blog and receiving e-mails to read while I’m at work. I’m newly married (1 year on May 21st!) with no kids yet – and I’m soaking up all the wisdom I can get before that day comes! 🙂
I can really relate to this. My son was sick with some mysterious virus last month and my plans were continuously interrupted by visits to the doctor. It turned out to be a time of listening to Him, and special moments with my sweet boy. Right where I needed to be. Glad to find you and the link up.
Such an important lesson that God keeps teaching us even when grow into grandparents. 🙂 For those of us in the Sandwich Generation, the interruptions can be a lot more, but the needs to nurture – old and young – remains and I’m constantly looking for ways to balance it all. And my biggest solution, keep fixing my eyes on Jesus. HE is my provider and keeps enabling me to keep on keeping on. NOT that I’m perfect at it – but HE is. Thanks for another sweet reminder!
I can so relate to this! Sometimes I try so hard to have things just perfect that when I sit back and look at the big picture I find things were just right until I overwhelmed everyone. Thank you for another great post!
i posted a liver pate http://gutsyhealth.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/liver-pate/
Thank you. What a great reminder to be still some times when we want to just go. So excited for this.
Wow – I stumbled on this blog this morning after posting on mine and was going to post a reply to Courtney but then reading charity’s comment – It completely sums up my inner battle with home “care taking” and just being “there” nurturing etc
I love this quote from Francis Chan – sooooo true!!!
Thank you both !!!
Awesome post! It is so easy to get caught up in the rat race and distracted from God’s priorities. Thanks for the reminder, and God bless,
thanks for the great reminder to focus on what IS important. happy day to you!
I’m using my blog to do my S.O.A.P. journaling for this study, and I wanted to join the link-up party, today. However, I’m pretty remedial when it comes to blogging, and I can’t figure out how to add the button to my post. Any tips? Thanks.
Welcome Tammy! There are two ways to add the button – either go to the side margin and copy the html and then go over to your blog draft and in the html tab paste the html you copied OR right click on the image and “save as” the button to your computer. Then go over to your blog and insert (upload) that photo at the bottom of your post. If all else fails and both are too hard – simply write at the bottom of your post “I am linking up at Women Living Well today” and leave a link to this site 🙂
Hope one of those are solutions for you! Thanks for joining us!!!
That was truly beautiful.
Hello! I am indeed new here, and wow, so many amazing posts!
I shared something that is very close to my heart – getting GMOs labelled, and something we can do about it right now!
I am new to the bible study online thing….love it! I did not receive today’s post???? I would love to hear more of your encouraging and inspiring words.
Thanks for serving us with your heart!
Thank you for the great piece on the Rat Race. It is my first time at your site, and it is wonderful. (I guess it is okay for a guy to like what you are doing!). I used your title and a big chunk in my latest post at Building Bravehearts. I hope I did it justice. Thank you for the impact you are having on marriage and family.
i really appreicte you making this blog, thanks