Rushing Won’t Get You There Faster

It is good to have goals. We are an ambitious crew, as we should be. However, when chasing dreams and goals it is important to remember rushing won’t get you there faster.

Rat Race

As homesteaders, homemakers, farmers, SAHM’s or whatever other title you enjoy, you may believe you’ve escaped the rat race. It could just be that our hamster wheel looks different. Today we are going to look at Matthew 11:28-30 to help us understand why rushing won’t get you there faster. I want to share both The Message version as well as the New International Version. These are copied from

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 The Message (MSG)

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 New International Version (NIV)

Same verses, two different versions. My pastor shared The Message version in church this past Sunday and although I don’t usually read The Message version, I liked the translation it made for these two verses. I love the line, “Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.” I want to get a sign made to hang up in my house with that line.

We all have desires and ambitions. Maybe you are trying to start your own business. Or maybe you are fervently learning new homesteading tasks. Perhaps you just purchased land and you are throwing yourself into starting a farm. Whatever desire we place as a priority will take our time and attention, but how much of it should we give? Where do we draw the line between working hard for something and working TOO hard for something? In other words, do we ever get to a place where we have enough? If God gives us nothing more than we already have, is it enough? It is human nature to want more and not be satisfied with enough. This desire needs to be faced with a holy defiance.

God’s Timeline

Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Matthew 6;24 NIV

My pastor shared something especially profound that I will paraphrase. He said, if you work longer and harder you will still get there but how much of yourself will you lose in the process? I believe the outcome remains the same. Is your business going to be profitable or not? Will you have a working farm or won’t you? Are your attempts at pregnancy going to be successful? Will you ever get out of debt? God knows the answers to all of these questions already. He also already knows WHEN these things will come to pass. The question I want to challenge you with, is if our actions have any impact on the timeline? Do we have any control at all on God’s timeline? I don’t believe so.

Now do not misunderstand me. We need to be active participants in our desires. Whatever our desires may be, we should work to see them come to pass. God calls us to work. He created us to work. We should work hard to accomplish God’s will for our lives but when is it enough? How hard is too hard? If it’s making you sick. If it’s stealing your joy and instead replacing it with anxiety or even fear. Fear you aren’t doing enough. Fear you’re not getting there fast enough. I do not believe that is God’s will.

Lets go back to look at Matthew 11:28-30.

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 The Message (MSG)

What those versus do NOT say is, are you tired? Work harder. Worn out? Stay up working later into the night. Burned out? Keep going even though you’re sick. I do not believe He will reward pushing beyond what you’re called to by moving your timeline forward.

Drink the Living Water

If you’re still struggling with the idea that maybe you’re working too hard, let me provide another perspective.

In John 4:13-14 NIV “13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

What water are you drinking? In many ways I was drinking the worldly water of productivity, money, success, YouTube views, page clicks, etc. We are not called to drink this water. We are called to drink His water. The water of eternal life. He tells us how to do that in Matthew 11:28-30. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. Beautiful.

Holy Defiance

Okay fine. I’m working too hard. What would you have me do about it? I have deadlines and chores to do. It all comes down to your heart posture. WHY are you working too hard? If you’ve accepted what I shared about not being able to budge God’s timeline, that should have relieved quite a lot of pressure. If you’re working yourself to the bone because you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, perhaps you need to let something go. That starts by being able to admit to yourself that you have indeed bitten off more than you can chew. Pray and ask God what He wants you to focus on.

Lets go a bit deeper with this. Are you trusting God? Or are you working so hard because you’re trying to maintain some semblance of control? Uh oh, ouch. I know, I felt it too. We have to trust God that whatever does or does not come to pass for us is for our own good. He has a plan for each of us and instead of trying to force what we think that plan is, we should ask Him to show us what it is. Or guide us to it and through it. If we’re doing that, why would we need to push?

I just read the story of Nehemiah. He was tasked with rebuilding the wall in Jerusalem after returning from Babylon captivity. That was a BIG JOB! Very stressful and extremely hard work. The Bible paints a man who was cool as a cucumber the whole time. Even with all of the obstacles he faced, He turned to God each time and trusted Him with the outcome. It doesn’t mention any effort to force the timeline. Honestly it seems like Nehemiah would’ve just been happy to see it done at all. Whatever our wall in Jerusalem, whatever our version of that story, we can trust God all the same. Whatever is meant for us will come to us in His time as long as we are pursuing it correctly. There is a balance to establish.

Establishing a Balance

So how do we pursue our desires without pursuing them too hard? Well, there are a few steps to implement here. First, pray always. Being in constant communication with God and listening to the Holy Spirit inside of us will be the ultimate map for navigating this somewhat confusing concept. I think this is especially true when trying to decide if we’re going to take on something new. Make sure it’s meant to be on your plate before you add it.

Second, I have begun to start my day by asking God what the plan is for the day and then remaining sensitive to His leading. I used to start my day with a checklist and it was full steam ahead until the list was completed. Starting my day with a prayer requesting guidance with that to-do list helps me slow down and tackle tasks intentionally.

Lastly, and this is a hard one for me. I’m trying to stop doom-scrolling social media. I’ll accomplish two or three things and then waste an hour on the couch scrolling Instagram before heading into the next task. Sometimes I don’t even remember to eat while I’m doom-scrolling.

What I do not want you to hear me say here is that I think you should lock your phone in a box and not look at it till after dinner time. Unless you are the type of person who needs that. I’ve heard from multiple people that cutting it out completely isn’t sustainable and just leads to feelings of shame when you can’t maintain that. Instead lets establish a healthier relationship with our devices. A smart phone is a tool. I use it to check my email, the weather, upload to my Instagram story, respond to YouTube comments, etc. I can continue to do those things while being productive and protecting my peace.

Instead, I want to take moments of real rest during the day. I’ll have some lunch with worship music playing quietly in the background while I have bread proofing in the kitchen. This is both restful as well as productive. I’ll sit down for 20 minutes in silence and rest my eyes or read a few pages of a book. I believe these moments of rest are crucial for producing a day that contributed to God’s will and preserved my peace at the same time. Those two things should go hand in hand after all, shouldn’t they?


Just because we have chosen life styles that tout escaped the “rat race”, doesn’t mean we actually have. Our rat race just looks different. You can knead loaves of sourdough bread in peace or with a heart that’s in pieces. You can’t add homegrown herbs and bare feet to your hamster wheel and call it anything other than a hamster wheel. We must all preserve our peace and understand that rushing won’t get us there faster. Lets center our lives on Jesus, the rest will work itself out.

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