The Hamster Wheel Effect


I’m not sure if you’ve ever had the experience where you’ve been somewhere and someone is speaking to an entire audience but as you listen to their words you forget about every other person in the audience and think that this is being aimed entirely and directly at you.  Tonight was one of those nights for me in church.

Our service was entitled “Finding God in the humdrum of life” and I didn’t really know what to expect … I was controlling the screens as usual so was following what our assistant minister was saying to bring up his slides at the right time and as he began taking about the film Groundhog Day, and how that saying has now become an everyday phrase describing a monotonous day or experience that we just seem to keep reliving.

My ears really pricked up when I heard the example being used of someone working in retail with groundhog day meaning serving with a smile to an impatient and sometimes rude public.  Having that smiling face at all times no matter what’s happening behind it has become a pretty familiar occurrence to me recently.

I don’t think it’s a secret to many people any more that this is exactly the way I’m feeling at the minute in relation to work.  I feel that I put everything into it and still am left annoyed and frustrated when I leave the building at the end of my shift.  I feel like a hamster stuck on a wheel … that no matter how much I do or run … I’m not getting anywhere.  I can’t do everything on my own and this frustration is what puts me in bad form … which in turn annoys the people closest to me … which annoys me more!  It seems endless!

But anyway … back to the point of the sermon tonight from Ecclesiastes 1.  The fact that from our fallen human perspective life is meaningless.  Life is temporary.  Life lacks substance. Life lacks anything to gain … but from a Christ-focused perspective, even our humdrum has meaning.  That God puts us in places for a reason … that we may not see in the moment … but there is a reason for the monotony, the frustration and the anger.

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,  did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!

Philippians 2 5-8

I guess it’s our responsibility as Christians to reflect Jesus and his example to a frustrated and angry world where He himself came and suffered to save us from our sins.


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