I had a friend who was an Energizer Bunny. You remember the ad with the bunny that just kept going and going?
He couldn’t tolerate quiet. He constantly had music playing. If the stereo wasn’t on the TV was blaring. If he was away from those he had in his ear buds listening to music on his phone.
He could never just sit still. He always had some project he was working on. Constantly.
We talked a few times about spiritual things when he asked questions. He seemed genuinely interested. Occasionally I suggested a book I thought he’d find helpful. But he never could find the time to read them.
Eventually, he imploded.
Lost his career, his family, everything. I lost contact with him but I think about him sometimes.
Yet, I’m not being judgmental. I can get caught up in busyness as well.
When I was younger I could be very much like my friend. Racing and never slowing down. Trying to outrun the demons swirling in my brain.
But you know what? I never could.
This is one of the points of a story told by Jesus which we continue on with.
A farmer is sowing wheat seed and some lands in the bramble bushes. It can’t germinate and is choked out.
Then Jesus explains, “The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced.”*
How often I’ve found myself trapped under the thorn bushes of life. Racing against worry or never ending desire for something more.
But I’ve also discovered an antidote which helps me keep from getting choked out.
First, I’ve learned to recognize it much quicker. When I feel this frenetic pattern start to take over I know I need to step out of the rat race for a bit and slow down.
Frankly, that’s often hard to do yet critical.
Second, I purposely plan into my day and week down times to stop, reflect and pray. I need that time to stay in touch with my heart and God’s whisper.
Third, when I’m growing frenetic I realize often it’s not a scheduling problem but a trust problem.
I need to step back and once again focus on who really is in control of my life. Think about who has blessed me beyond all understanding. Who’s still caring for me. And who will continue to lead me even if and more likely because I slow down.
Then when I tear out those brambles that faith seed germinates in the fresh spiritual air, the warmth of God’s love and the refreshing rain of God’s spirit. Once again my life fills with the fruit of my relationship with God as he intended all along.
We can live caught up in frenetic activity or see the miracle working power of God but we can’t do both.
How do you get out of the rat race?
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*Matthew 13: 22 (NLT)
Photo Credit: David Shane (Creative Commons)