The VOICE of Inspiration
By Don Lindsey
When I turned 18 years old, I remember my oldest brother saying to me “welcome to the rat race.” I still get a laugh out of that, but the implication was clear; I was an adult now, and responsibilities would take up a considerable chunk of my time.
Having dropped out of high school at 17, I already had a job and experience with punching a clock and earning money. Later at 25, I got a GED and started classes at a technical school. These accomplishments led me to believe that I knew what my brother meant, but I still had no clue and wouldn’t until years later. What I took away from that period, however, was that everyday rituals such as work and school can be consuming and could lead to missing opportunities that would make your life better. When I first got out of high school, I thought that showing up for work and collecting a paycheck was the rat race. When I started looking for more education and worked to balance a job and school, that was my rat race. Once I moved to Florida, I thought it was being a father, husband, son, and friend. What I’ve learned is that my definition of the term “rat race” means staying busy and as it turns out, that’s a positive thing.
When I think back to my 20’s, working and school just got in the way of my party time with friends, so I saw the work experience as a negative. Looking ahead to now, staying busy is a wonderful thing because it’s how I interact with the people I love. I take my kids to school in the morning and have some time to chat with them. When my parents wake up, I take some time to spend with them, my wife and I talk as much as we can through the day, and that’s on top of any appointments my parents or kids have. I probably have more to do in a day now than I ever have but I’m also the happiest I’ve ever been, and I think the reason is because of that rat race idea that I grew to despise back when I wore a younger man’s clothes.
For me, it all comes back to looking for blessings as they pop up during the day. God grants a lot of those blessings and when I don’t see them, it’s because I’m too focused on whatever task is in front of me. That was my biggest issue when I was younger as well and as a result, I do not have a lot of good memories from those years because I was too concerned with my daily routine. While that leaves me disappointed in myself to say the least, I’m also very grateful that with age, I’m noticing how great my life is. Sure it’s busy and it’s a rat race, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. God bless.
Don Lindsey is a follower of Christ, son, husband, father, and a survivor. Originally from Dayton Ohio, and resident of Apopka for six years, Don sees his life as a dedication to his wife, parents, children, and community.