A 'Treadmill' Life

“...Physical exercise has some value, but godliness is valuable in every way. It holds promise for the present life and for the life to come.” ~ I Timothy 4:8

If there had been treadmills in the days of the apostle Paul, he probably would have used it here as an analogy. In the context of this passage, Paul is reflecting on false religions that are filled with rituals that have no depth of meaning. They are full of activity that goes nowhere. Sometimes life can seem like we are running on a treadmill and going nowhere. In his devotion “Busyness” Chuck Swindoll likens it to running in a “squirrel cage.”

If we genuinely desire some depth of life (godliness) to emerge, it is essential that we slow down and at times stop before the “to do list” for the day is completed. This will give us time to reflect on life’s meaning and purpose, and upon the One (God) Who gives meaning and purpose to life.

In Solomon’s writing, “Ecclesiastes,” is a reflection on his entire life and this is what he shares about life without God. “Meaningless! Meaningless!”. . . “I thought to myself, ‘Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good,’ But that also proved to be meaningless.”. . . “I tried cheering myself with wine and embracing folly. . . I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. . . everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”

In all that Solomon permitted himself to try, he found there is no meaning and purpose in anything, work or pleasure, apart from a relationship with God. “Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him. . . when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, this is a gift from Him . . .”

Someone has said, “Much of our activity these days is nothing more than a cheap anesthetic to deaden the pain of an empty life.” Busyness robs us and hurts our relationships. We become so busy that we have little time for God, family, and friends. We must first admit that we are too busy, then refuse every possible activity which isn’t absolutely necessary.

It’s not “things” but “persons” that make life rich and meaningful to us. But, we spend most of out time acquiring and possessing “things.” A rich and meaningful life begins with a relationship with God by faith in Christ Jesus. King David said, “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek You. I thirst for You, my whole being longs for You in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” (Psalm 63:1 – NIV)

The family is the backbone of a nation and every individual is a member of a family of some kind. It is important to be as good a member of that family as possible, so to do things that make other members of the family happy, and feel important, we must not be too busy to spend time with them.

Jesus associated with all kinds of people and took time to be with them. As Christians we have the ability and power to be a good influence, so we should take time to use it in this way. God’s values, as our values, can become our friends values, if we take time to associate with them and share with them our faith in Christ Jesus.

Reflections: Ask yourself, “Do I give God significant time on a daily basis?”

Talk to your family and friends and ask them, “Am I too busy, rushing about in too many activities?” If true, what should you eliminate?