Stepping off the Hamster Wheel and into His Rest
I was laying awake in bed and my mind was fluttering with all the things I had to do before the big move in a few weeks time: remember to call this person…don’t forget to meet up with this person… close my bank account… cancel my phone plan… set a meeting with so and so… plan for my trip home…
As I let my mind flutter… and flutter… and flutter, I could literally feel my anxiety level slowly begin to grow until it became like a knot the size of a baseball sitting at the base of my belly. Before I knew it, my fluttering turned into panicking: how am I ever going to get this all done?…what if I forget something?… I better wake up extra early so I can make sure I don’t leave anything out… time is running out!
I don’t know about you but sometimes I feel like a puny hamster on a gigantic wheel. No matter how fast I am running or how hard I am trying, my wheels just keep spinning in the same place. The emails, the calls, the appointments, the projects, the deadlines… it all just keeps piling up! The Lord knows I’ve even cried out in desperation, “God, please stretch the hours in this day so I can get more done!”
The Bible tells us over and over NOT to be anxious about anything (Phil 4:7), not to fear (Josh 1:9), not to worry (Matt 6:25)… but seriously? If we were living in heaven, yeah maybe. But life on earth is busy and chaotic and surely God understands the demands we’re facing. Right?
Wrong. God never intended us to run through life like a hamster on a wheel. Jesus was a prime example of how to handle the demands and pressures of life. Instead of running himself into the ground, He ran to the Father:
“And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” -Mark 1:35
I believe it was because He began each day by connecting to the Father, that He was able to stay focused on His mission and not get swayed by the demands of life around him.
The Psalmist was getting at the same idea when he said:
“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.” –Psalms 62:5
It was as if the writer was writing these words to himself from his own hamster cage. He understood that in order to be at rest in this world of busyness and distraction, he would have to seek it out and find it for himself. And it would come from God alone.
Wow. I realized how guilty I was of not doing that in my own life, hence the ball of anxiety in my belly. It’s so easy to let our circumstances run us instead of running to God, the author and creator of our soul, who promises to take care of ALL our needs.
Facing pressures at work? Run to Him.
Waiting to get married? Run to Him.
Trying to start a family? Run to Him.
Struggling financially? Run to Him.
Let’s quit exhausting ourselves on our hamster wheels and run to our Father’s arms. There is no better resting place for our souls.
“Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.” -Psalm 63:7-8
Dear Lord, thank you that you are there to give me rest for my soul when I seek it out. Help me to sing in the shadow of Your wings and cling to You in all things. Thank you that I can rely on Your strength and rest to uphold me in all I do today. In Jesus name, amen.
In what ways can you identify being a hamster spinning its wheels? Pray and ask God to help you enter into His rest, no matter what you are facing.