The Rat Race


Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.”

~Mark 6:31, NLT


“The trouble with being in the Rat Race is that even if you win, you are still a RAT.”

~Lily Tomlin

My mother told me more than once that of her eight children, my birth came the quickest. I tell folks I was born in a hurry and I have never slowed down. Correction, I use to tell people that–the truth is–I have slowed down a lot, almost to a crawl. Let’s put it another way: I have a difficult time relaxing. As a child I was horrified by needles: I always had to be restrained whenever a shot was necessary. Even after I was too big to cry, I cringed when I seen the needle coming. The nurse would always say, “relax” but I could not relax. June finally cured me by telling me a secret; I take a deep breath right before they stick me and I don’t feel a thing {Usually}. How many times have I been uptight, restless and wanting to relax but could not? More times that I care to remember. We all know that the rat race is a reference to the lab rats that are encaged. They have them on a tiny treadmill which is more like a spinning wheel: the faster the rat run, the faster the wheel spins and there is no end in sight. The mice are constantly moving but getting nowhere.

It reminds me of the story of the American GI’s being transported from one South Pacific Island to another. It was a 30 minute flight. After being in the air for over an hour, the platoon leader went to the cockpit, “where are we? He asks, “we should have been there over 30 minutes ago.” The pilot said, “I don’t really know but we have a great tail wind and we are making excellent time.” This is the story of million, making great time but going nowhere. Who can give you peace and purpose? I know of no one other than Jesus and He can give you both.

I am going to share a little poem with you and I am not sure who wrote it. Several rough drafts were in my old notes but it is almost too good for me to be the author.


We jump out of bed and into the shower,

We dress, eat and check our messages in less than an hour.

We jump in our car and rush off to work,

We get caught behind a poke and call him a jerk.

We dive into our work like fighting a fire,

Then we run to lunch but have to be back in a hour.

We finish our work and then head for home,

We try to relax but get called on our phone.

Then we go out with friends to paint the town red,

Come dragging in dog tired and flop into bed.

We give all we have, put our shoulder to the wheel,

We put our nose to the grindstone but we never get still.

We climb every mountain and ford every stream,

We chase every rainbow in search of our dream.

We refuse to settle for second, we want the best,

But we don’t have time to think, let alone rest.


Needless to say, we all need time to relax, to think and to rest. The restful mind is a creative mind. Jack Taylor use to say, “Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is take a nap.” Vance Havner said, “We either come apart or we fall apart.” Mother Teressa said, “God is a friend to silence.” That is why God created the Sabbath for man: we need rest. I did see Gregg and Mrs. Sarah yesterday and had a good visit with both. Gregg had a treatment yesterday and he has one more this week. Both have a great spirit. Sarah’s pain is getting worse and Gregg has to limit his time on his feet. Be sure you remember both in your prayers.

Tomorrow will be unique: duces wild…it will be 2/2/22

The blog above come from my old notes and so does all the info below…

Duke University Study on PEACE of mind

  1. Absence of suspicion and resentment
  2. Refusal to live in the past
  3. Don’t worry about things beyond your control
  4. Stay engaged: don’t withdraw completely or quit
  5. Don’t yield to self-pity {It enlarges your problem and reduces your character}
  6. Cultivate Virtue
  7. Lower your expectations: don’t demand perfection from others or yourself
  8. Find something greater than yourself to believe in {that would be Jesus}


  1. God is more concerned with your future than your past
  2. God had rather forgive you as to condemn you
  3. God is not your accuser {that would be Satan}: God wants to include you not exclude you.

{I don’t know how old these notes are but they go back to the time when Jay Gordan was our minister of music, youth and education. So we are talking 1980’s. The notebook I found this stuff in, I almost threw in the waste basket. Now you know why it is so hard to just throw things in the fire.}


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