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Life is More Than a Hamster Wheel

Our culture tells us the faster the better, and if fast is really better, then faster is even better. Well, unless you are a race car driver or a sprinter, fast is not always best. I (Dave) was a sprinter in high school and college, and yes, being fast helped me win races, but as I found out late in my career, raw speed only got me so far, technique got me the rest of the way. We all seem to run through life from one thing to another, often times those things are good and noble, but in the midst of breakneck speed what we miss is the beauty of life. This quote by Eddie Cantor sums up what we are trying to say.

“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.”

Who is Eddie Cantor you might ask? He was a singer, comedian, vaudeville star, actor, and radio and television personality. Eddie got his start in show biz with the Ziegfeld Follies in New York City in 1917. Maybe as important, if not more important, Eddie was involved with The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (founded in 1938 by then President Franklin Roosevelt), and that foundation’s main fundraising event was setting up booths at Christmas asking people to donate a dime to fight polio and other birth defects. From that, Eddie coined the term, The March of Dimes and in 1976 the organization adopted March of Dimes as its name.

Okay, enough of the history lesson. Let’s get back to our “slow down” message. If you are like most people, you try to juggle many balls at once and you run from one thing to another, collapse into bed at night, only to get up tomorrow and start all over. We are not saying all of life is intended to be spent sitting in a rocking chair on the porch or a beach chair at the ocean (but those are great things to do!) What we are saying is look over all the things you do and ask yourself; “what things are most important things to me, and what stuff can I dump over the side of the boat.” Yes, there are times in our lives when the pace is fast and we do need to juggle many balls, but in the midst of it, we encourage you to enjoy the scenery.

In addition to slowing down, in order to find real meaning and purpose in life, you really need to look no further than to God. We read this in Ecclesiastes 2:24 – A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God. Ecclesiastes is sometimes hard to understand, and if taken out of context, this passage seems to be advocating a life of mere pleasure seeking. But it is not saying that at all. What it tells us is that only in God does life have real meaning and true pleasure. Without Him nothing satisfies, but with him we find satisfaction and enjoyment. Our God is a generous God and we can enjoy His good provisions.

So, today, look to God for meaning and purpose, and don’t buy into the world’s roadmap of “faster and faster.” That roadmap is nothing more than a hamster wheel that just goes round and round.

And when you find yourself on a detour for whatever reason, remember this, A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.” (author unknown)

Dave Garrett

2/26/2015

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