We live in a fast paced world that is all about “hustling”. You hear it in our music, you see it on television, you scroll through it on your timeline. The world view is to chase after your dreams with all of your energy and focus, even if it exhausts you and costs you everything.
Whenever I’m tempted to follow suit and abandon my sanity for success, I read this scripture. It puts everything into focus.
It is no use for you to get up early and stay up late, working for a living. The Lord gives sleep to those he loves.
Psalms 127:2 NCV
Is God saying that we should not work, that we shouldn’t have a job or even a living? Absolutely not. But what He is saying is that He never intended for us to be hustlers. Honestly. He wants us to pursue the passions that He gave us, but he also wants us to rest: To rest in Him, trust and rest in His plan, and live a simple life.
There’s a meme that goes around that says something like “Beyonce has the same 24 as you do.” Almost a call to everyone to let them know they aren’t doing enough. Well, I don’t want to be Beyonce and I disagree with that lifestyle. And before the “Beehive” starts to attack, hear me out.
Do you know the kind of life she leads? I don’t know it all, but what I do know is that sometimes she does not sleep, especially getting ready for performances. She has incredible work ethic, sure, but I want to sleep. Sleep is important. Sleep is the only time your body can move you out of the way to reset itself and heal. Without sleep, we die. Dramatic, but true. This must mean that God knew what He was doing when He created us to sleep. I’ll trust God over Beyoncé’s success.
We live in a society where that kind of lifestyle is glorified and idolized. We’re always so busy and and driven. We strive for one goal and move on to the next. We berate ourselves for not being where we think we should be and pride ourselves on being better than everyone else.
We don’t rest out of fear of not being relevant and not being able to achieve our dreams. And if we see others resting, we say they aren’t driven. People are afraid to take breaks, to be husbands, wives, parents, better friends, better family, more committed to God because of a dream. We believe any press is good press, and as long as people remember us, we’re doing well.
We glorify money and value praise from others. We are never satisfied. We always want more. We make ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally ill for the sake of “the hustle”. Sometimes we lose friendships, relationships, our moral integrity, our honest and true self just to get ahead.
In all honesty, it’s not healthy and it is to what God intended.
Today, consider what you are committed to. Consider if you’re striving because you believe in what you’re doing, or you’re toiling in vain. Don’t look back 50 years later wondering why you sacrificed so much for validation, credit, money, popularity… things that will fade anyway.
I am not saying that we should abandon our dreams and goals, but that we should put them in perspective. If it exhausts us, kills relationships, gets in the way of our relationship with God, we have some serious things to reconsider.
Pursue your dreams. Just don’t make it an Idol in your life. Be patient with yourself. Keep the right focus. Be content with yourself and where you are. God will give you everything you need, even if that means not giving you all that you want.
Choose God. Choose relationship. Choose rest.