Lent Post 3: Rat Race

Within the last few weeks, I’ve recently started going to the gym faithfully again.  I like to people watch, so while on the elliptical or treadmill I try to casually look around (hopefully without appearing creepy) and see what workouts others are doing.  Sometimes I take in a panoramic view of the whole gym and think how silly we all would look to, say, a 191h Century pioneer plopped smack dab into our 21st Century modern world.  Most Pioneers got a majority of their exercise plowing the fields, even washing clothes by hand.  There life’s work was their exercise, and  was largely a means to and end – to put food on the table and keep their families safe.

I am all for going to the gym, even though my job keeps me on my feet and lifting, bending, climbing ladders.   I’ve still made it a goal to go 3-4 times per week, and I’ve mostly been able to stick with my goal – except for last week when I only made it twice.  As good as I feel in my faithfulness to going to the gym this season – I can think back to many, many times when I fell off the wagon.  Paying for a gym membership I’m not using is nothing new to me.

Striving: It’s something most of us know very well.  Always setting goals for ourselves, making to-do lists, missing sleep to finish one more task.  It’s never-ending.  Just like a gym full of people running on a treadmill that won’t take us anywhere…how often do we strive to be better versions of ourselves and beat ourselves up when we don’t measure up?  I’ve got news for you, you won’t ever measure up.  I won’t ever measure up.  I’m all about reading books and listening to podcasts about productivity – but I know me, and I know I may never be the introverted underdog turned motivational speaker/singer/famous (insert noun) that would make me finally feel like I’d arrived.  None of us will ever fully arrive – and that’s okay.

I have a friend – a newer friend but one I hope to continue to get to know more.  She couldn’t be more sweat.  We share a mutual fondness of houseplants, but we don’t share the same Religious beliefs.  She is a Buddhist, I am a Christian.  Not long ago we got together and ended up discussing our Religions during a Whole Foods salad bar run.  I was reminded of the Buddhist belief in karma, and that if someone sins (resulting in bad karma) that person must engage in acts of good karma to “try” and atone for that sin.  It’s a constant striving – and honestly seems exhausting to me.  As a Christian, I believe that all people are sinners and we can never make up for or atone fully for our own sins without Jesus.  Christianity is meant to be a life free of burdens because we believe that Jesus’ death and resurrection paid the price for our sins.  We are to do good in order to be more like Jesus, but not in order to earn forgiveness/a place in Heaven.  Even knowing intellectually that I shouldn’t have to do good works to strive/earn God’s love, I so often fall into that trap as a Christian.  I am thankful that Jesus has not given up on me or you!

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Matthew 11:30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

If you feel like you are in the rat race of life with no way to slow down, send us a message and we can let you know how to welcome Jesus into your life for peace and to remove the striving/burdens.


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