hamster wheels

Teddy Bear Hamster

After turning off my alarm this morning, I spent the first three minutes of consciousness rubbing my eyes and thinking to myself how much I love sleep and didn’t want to get out of bed. Then I realized I had to pee. So much for that.

I stood up, let the puppy outside (she can finally make it all the way through the night, thank the Lord), and then went in to take care of business myself. After that was, of course, washing my hands, and then brushing my teeth and taking my vitamins.

“There’s no way I’m working out this morning,” I told myself. “Too tired.”

Then I worked out. Whether it was the result of strength or weakness, I have no idea.

Showered, let the dog in, fed her, then fixed my own breakfast. I eat the same oatmeal with chia seeds, cinnamon, and brown sugar every weekday morning.

I put the dog back outside while I read for a bit. Usually, I end up with a burning question and spend a few minutes searching for the answer before loading up and heading to the office.

On weekends, it’s pancakes with vanilla, cinnamon, and real maple syrup. None of that corn syrup with maple flavor crap. The grass needs cutting, groceries need buying, and the laundry needs cleaning. Oh how I despise laundry.

It’s the same thing every week.

I drive down the same road to the same chair at the same desk to work next to the same people. Every week. I’m sure it’ll be the same story but to a whole new level if/when I have a wife and kids. Just with a lot more waiting (wife), crumbs and noise (kids).

Every week, I inevitably end up stressing out about something that I won’t be able to recall the following week when a new thing starts to stress me out. I worry about money, broken stuff that needs fixing (that I have no clue how to fix), constant unfounded “what if’s?”, and the nagging question that Satan likes to make me wonder about: “What’s the point of all this?”

If I’m in a bad mood, that question is a dangerous one. It’ll gain ground fast if I let it. But after listening to a podcast, reading from the Bible or another book I might be working through, or having a solid conversation with a friend, I’m easily reminded why.


He’s the reason. Who is He, why, and how? Not a clue. But I know I’m standing, breathing, thinking, and feeling because of Him.

What does He want? That part I do have a clue about, thanks to the Bible and Jesus. God wants to be known and acknowledged by me and others. I don’t know much except that He deserves it.

The routine can feel like a hamster wheel sometimes. Right around month three of those 40 years the Israelites spent in the desert, I would’ve been asking Moses what the point was of spending the rest of my life in a sandbox and eating the same food for every single meal. It would’ve gotten old real quick. But Moses probably would have been quick to remind me that there was most definitely a point, and that it was much bigger than I could ever truly understand. It’s so big that it’s easy to miss sometimes because of how small my desires and my focus often is.

The majority of my thoughts are focused on trivial momentary temptations and ambitions that revolve around my own success and comfort. But the pursuit of those things is what leads to the monotonous routine. A job for the sake of getting promoted and getting more is a perfect example. That’s just not a good enough reason to get out of bed on a morning when I’m not feeling my best. I need a greater purpose (besides having to pee).

It’s a matter of living this life in honor of the next, which, by comparison, makes my stress and anxiety seem like patty cakes on the playground.

Is my retirement savings account important? My relationships and family life worth the effort? Of course, but only through the lens of first loving God. We were designed to know and remember our purpose, and we were designed to feel lost and dissatisfied when we don’t. We were designed to crave the reason for our design, and we’ve been known to search for it in every possible area except the real one. Work, romance, pleasure, and accomplishment will all soon fade away because none of them are the true reason we’re here waking up every morning with a brand new list of things to do. None of them are why we were given this ability to feel, think, and dream. Each of those things are meant to be secondary goals that are fulfilled through the original purpose of loving God first.

I’m 26, so I understand that many of you give me zero credit. But my life seems hamster-wheelish sometimes, too. Write me off if you want to, but that’s why it’s important to go new places, try new things, and grow in new ways. I heard it said once that if God wrote a book in creating the world, those who don’t travel are only reading a single page over and over again.

This life is an adventure waiting to be lived. It’s about learning how to do something new; battling against the temptation to sit in front of the TV every night watching “your show” and, instead, reading something, or going somewhere, or doing something that actually benefits your life and the lives around you for the purpose of appreciating what God has given us.


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