Escaping the Rut, the Rat Race, and the Daily Grind


Hit the snooze button. Crawl out of bed after the second alarm. Hit the shower. Choose a shirt. Make the coffee. Start the car. Fight the traffic. Punch the clock. Meet the clients. Please the boss. Grab lunch. Please the boss some more. Punch the clock again. Fight the traffic. Fix dinner. Watch television. Play with the kids. Read the news. Hit the sack. Then… hit the snooze button.

Sound familiar? It’s the “daily grind.” The only difference between a rut and a grave is that ruts don’t have ends. Are you in one?

We have loads of productivity tools for more effective time management.

Solomon had women (1,000 of them officially), wealth, and wisdom. He had the admiration of the world. But Solomon described it all with one single word, repeatedly – vanity! “All is vanity, saith the Preacher!”

Solomon wrote the book of Ecclesiastes, which is kind of a manual for understanding the daily grind. To sum him up…

You work and work and work, and you always have more work to do tomorrow. Then you die and leave it all behind.

You learn and learn and learn, but you can never learn it all. You never know it all.

You party it up, have fun, chase women, and at the end of it all… vanity.

The book of Ecclesiastes doesn’t end on this note. Most people have a hard time understanding the book because they don’t read far enough. In the first two chapters, Solomon basically says that if you spend your life pursuing pleasure, knowledge, and money (via work), you’ll still end up dying. He might say that he who dies with the most toys still dies… and the toys rust away.

Then, there’s chapter three!

He has made everything beautiful in His time; also, He has set eternity in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end… I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever.
~Ecclesiastes 3:11, 14

Wow. Eternity! God! Introduce God and eternity and the equation suddenly changes.

I can work on the environment, feed the poor, teach the uneducated, clothe the naked, and lobby for a better society. In the end, I will have made earth a much nicer place to die!

Or… I can introduce people to the God of eternity, and suddenly it all makes sense. Eternal things really matter. In fact, temporal things matter more in light of eternity. My work is an endless cycle that never gets done, but God’s work is purpose-filled for all of eternity!

All of us who are in the rat race are chasing the same stuff, and most of it rots, rusts, or corrodes. Chase God. Chase eternity. Chase a relationship with Jesus Christ, with God’s family, and you’re chasing something that just gets brighter after the grave!

Here’s how Paul put it…

The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!
~ 1 Corinthians 15:56-57

If you’re trapped in the daily grind and haven’t prepared for eternity, here’s how to begin…

  1. Face your sin problem squarely and acknowledge it before God.
  2. Realize that the penalty for sin is death and hell forever.
  3. Believe, however, that God so loved you that He gave His one and only Son for you. He died on the cross to atone for your sins, to be your substitute, to assume your guilt and to pay for your crimes.
  4. Believe that He rose from the dead.
  5. Receive Him as your Savior once and for all.

You can do that in a prayer, but the prayer isn’t what saves you. Jesus saves you on the basis of your faith in Him.

Need help? Have questions? That’s why I’m on planet earth! Contact me.

This article is adapted from a study I led recently based on Tony Evans’ book No More Excuses: Be the Man God Made You To Be.