A rat race is an endless, self-defeating, or pointless pursuit. The phrase equates humans to rats attempting to earn a reward such as cheese, in vain. It may also refer to a competitive struggle to get ahead financially or routinely – Wikipedia
Rat Race is a term used to describe a frustrating, hard-to-break financial lifestyle. It is a lifestyle that is lived by countless people, oblivious to the very nature of it, to a degree that even when called upon, vehemently deny it. – Urban Dictionary
One would assume that as we enter the 40s and look forward to our twilight years we should have gotten a better understanding of what life is all about. But sadly that’s not so.
Many folks have been on the grind since they left college, some even before they did. I would want to assume that by now we would have understood that there’s no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But the sad truth is that, the reverse is the case. Many of us are still in the rat race.
Looking at our society today, we find that people are consumed with self; they have taken the phrase ‘self-love’ to a whole new level. Everyone is hustling and bustling to make it; you hear goals such as ‘ I want to retire at 40 or 50’ ‘I want my kids to attend the best school in the neighbourhood’ ‘I want my family to have the best life has to offer’ , I want… I want… I want…! (bible reference 2nd Timothy 3:1-5)
2 Timothy 3:1-4 New Living Translation (NLT)
The Dangers of the Last Days
3 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
The list goes on and on. This drive and ambition is made worse by social media that has turned the world into a global village. I can stay in my house and peep into the life of someone in another part of the globe (or so I think). So I now I not only have the ‘Joneses’ to contend with but the whole world.
This leads a lot of people to work themselves to death; literally! For others, they get all their ‘wants’ and come back to an empty house, kids who hate their guts, wives/husbands who are only with them for the money, fame, inheritance and a meaningless life.
That’s how come we see and hear of famous and rich people committing suicide. But we just saw their instagram post last week and they looked so fly, happy and fulfilled? They even granted an interview and I was wishing my life was half like theirs? So what happened?
What they showed the world was a façade; no one knew what was going on inside of them. No one ever posts an instagram picture or Facebook post of the ‘nasties’ in their lives; even when they say they do, trust me, it has been doctored for publicity purposes.
If you believe everything you see on social or news media, then you need to realign your vision and sight. You might say that you are not affected by any external influence but hmmm! Think again. Take a second look at the urban dictionary definition of Rat Race.
Some folks chase their ambitions, dreams and aspirations to the exclusion of all else. They provide their family with everything that money can buy but deny them of their love, presence and fellowship.
Others in a bid to climb the corporate ladder step on all toes that try to put a foot in their way; thereby making life-long enemies. Another group climb to the end of a ‘success’ ladder only to find to their utter disappointment that it is the wrong ladder. Oops!
I’ve said all the above just to jolt our minds and bring the issue of the futility of what we’ve been doing most of our adult lives, up, front and center!
So how do we get out of the rat race? I’ll share some of the things that the Holy Spirit has awakened in me and others that some years of observation and hours of research has taught me in my next post. Stay tuned…
Meanwhile, take a load off!