Tuesday, August 11, 2015


Getting Poor by Working Yourself to Death

    I think that almost all of us have at some time or another felt trapped. In a situation. In a relationship. In an emotion.  It's got a hold on us and we can't seem to break free of it.  There's been plenty said about being in "The Rat Race."  But somehow it never quite gets defined or understood completely.  We're going to try to do that here-- because some people are caught in the Rat Race, even joke about being in it, and yet do not really understand what it is and what it is doing to them and their family's lives.

Getting Nowhere Fast
     So.. are you feeling just a little bit like a guy, caught inside of a wheel, going around and around and never getting anywhere?   Never finding any solution to your problem.   Never finding any peace and contentment and real satisfaction in your life's journey.   I find that I have a degree of compassion for those who are experiencing this feeling, because I've been in the middle of it.  But my compassion wanes when people like this will act as if they are happy in a situation that they continually complain about all of the time.

   Why must we make matters worse than they already are by denying their existence?  People talking about “working for the weekend,” and then when the weekend comes, they talk about “having to go back to work on Monday.”   I suppose some actual enjoyment takes place on weekends for some, but it seems as if everyone is just always complaining about the status quo, but not knowing any way out of it.

   I believe that the heart of the matter is the matter of the heart.  Most people simply do not believe in themselves and their ability to do anything different or unique in their lives.  Their imaginations are not charged to be able to think beyond the box in which they find themselves confined.  Even if they have a dream, they do not have a capacity to plan a particular time or situation in which they will execute an escape into freedom.

   You might say, “Well, this is just the way that it is,” or “Someone has to do it.”  Actor Will Smith once remarked that “Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity.”  I love this quote because it symbolizes where MOST people are in their lives : on a one-way road to nowhere.   In this scenario, there are no exits nor scenic routes along the way, only an asphalt highway that leads to misery.

   Quality of life is not necessarily about money.  It's not about possessions.  It's not even ultimately about friends or family.  It's about choices and freedom.   You want the power in your life to be able to decide for yourself what it is you wish and want to do.  And then also have the power or ability to go do it.

Freedom to Choose
  One of my favorite quotes of all time was made by philosopher Henry David Thoreau,  who said, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you have imagined.”   But what can be accomplished if one does not have or exercise an imagination?  What becomes of individual effort and progress if someone is complacent in their ordinary, commonplace existence?

   Take a few moments of your time to take a long, deep breath, and then quiet yourself long enough to rethink your life's situation.   Are you in the place that you want to be?  Are you trying to trade the quality of 2/3 or 3/4 of your life in exchange for a few years of satisfaction?   Most people are in that Rat Race.  Most of those people don't want to be.

   If you're one of those people, don't put off making a decision that you want a better existence-- no, Life-- for yourself.  Decide that you don't want to leave your life's destiny up to chance.  You want to make a decision TODAY to begin to live life's ultimate purpose for yourself.   What is that purpose?   That's really up to you (and God) to work out.   But as of today, stop letting another person or situation in your life make those decisions for you.

   The famous leader and politician William Jennings Bryan said, “Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice.  It is not a thing to be waited for.  It is a thing to be achieved.”