This is an ongoing work in progress. While I am writing these articles on discipleship, I am actually doing these same things with other men on a regular basis. Spiritual reproduction is my goal with them. I want them to be able to teach these things to another man that God gives to them. That is the principle of disciplemaking in 2 Timothy 2:2. "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others."
Visualize if you would that you are sitting across from me in a restaurant, and we are having an exciting conversation about making disciples.
I would suggest getting a three ring binder notebook for your new disciple, print all these pages as you work with your disciple, so that they may reproduce this in the life of another.
When did this rat race start?
Thinking back, my earliest memories jump to the forefront of my mind.
I hear Mom hollering. "Wake up Dad! Time to go to the hospital. My water broke." Wow! The race begins.
Dad jumps in the car, throws Mom's suitcase in the car and speeds off to the hospital. "Whoa----come back Dad! You forgot Mom!" So Dad races back in the driveway and helps Mom and me out to the car.
"Whoa---Dad----Slow Down. Watch out for those other cars. Hold on Mom. We'll get there in time. See up ahead there. It's the Emergency Room entrance. OK! Help Mom in the wheelchair, and race toward the elevator." Boy, that thing sure is slow. I feel like I am ready to enter the world. "Hold on Mom."
They race straight toward the delivery room. Wow! It's almost time for me to make my grand entrance!
Pop goes the weasel! At least that's what my Dad said I looked like when I popped out. Slimy, gooey me. What a shock. Out of that nice warm Mommy, into this cold, cruel world.
"Hey! Who slapped me? Watch it there lady!"
So goes our entrance into the "Rat Race"!
Then our HMO's send us home from the hospital after a couple of days. Finally some peace and quiet.
Forget that. Here comes Grandma and Grandpa, and all those other people with their flash cameras. Waking me up at all hours of the day and night wanting a little peek at the itsy, bitsy baby boy.
Before long it's off to school. Race to the school bus. Race to the room before the bell rings. Race to the cafeteria to beat all those other hogs at school. Race to the school bus to go home. On and on it goes, and where it stops nobody knows.
Pretty soon it's off to college. It's a real rat race now. Balancing my busy social life with all those studies. Part time job, running on the track team, attending the fraternity meetings. Not enough time left to have any fun.
Well, graduation is next week, and then it will slow down.
Don't you believe it.
Pretty soon I am married with three kids. The rats are gaining ground rapidly. So many places to go. So many things to do. Fix the house. Cook the kids breakfast. Rake the leaves. Mow the grass. Take the wife out to dinner once a month. (At least that was the original plan.) But one of us is always too tired or has another function to attend.
And then I wake up, and all the kids are gone. Graduated from school, married with kids, and tearing down their own raceway.
At last some time to slow down and have some peace and quiet.
But it doesn't happen. It seems that my business is more and more demanding. Helping the kids with the grandchildren takes a lot of time. Ill health seems to plague several of us in the family at the same time. Bills pile up and never seem to end. The "rat race" seems to never end.
What did God mean in the Bible, when He said "Be still and know that I am God"? How do I get out of the "rat race?
First remember 1 Timothy 6:6-8. "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that."
Most of my entrance into the rat race, revolves around my wanting to get more, make more, gain more, live more and so on.
More, More, More.
I am working on a plan to make my life simpler. The plan will not happen unless I counsel with those close to me in my family and bounce the ideas off my closest friends.
Since I know I "can't take it with me", I need to spend my time on things that will last forever.
According to the Bible, there are only two things that will last forever. The Word of God. And People. When I spend my life trying to gain things I cannot keep, I am chasing a whirlwind. If that is my goal in life, then I will never get out of the rat race.
Second I need to follow the advice given to us by Jesus, when he stated "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world-the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does-comes not from the Father, but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever."
1 John 2:15-17
And so my dear friend, choose where you want to live.
Or in the "Rat Race"!
Structure in your life brings freedom! Sit down right now, set yourself some goals. Make out a schedule to make good things happen in your life. Then share this with an "Encouragement Partner" who can help you achieve a sense of freedom that will give you time to do those important things.