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  • Katie Smith

We are getting off...

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

Stepping off the hamster wheel

A friend just told us, "I get up, take the kids to school, workout, work, come home, eat dinner, play with my kids, check my phone, watch TV, go to bed, and do it all over again." While you may add or subtract a few items from this list, the description copies a generic timeline. We base decisions on our calendar and practicality--the rational, modeled behavior from people around us. Holidays and vacations provide the indespensible break from this routine.

We don't want tragedy to break us from rhythm, although it does that quite well, but we would love to excape our Groundhog's Day existence if we could. There are just too many factors that make it mandatory to stay on that rotating hamster wheel. Gravity pulls us back into the center of the routine even after a short hiatus due to fiscal or familial responsibility-- this natural process requires dedication.

But what if we just stopped? What would happen if we stepped off the wheel mid-stride? I'm not saying you abandon family or check out of life. But what if we opened our hands and let go of the things we were doing for the sake of the normal, comfortable, American dream?

The selfless mantra, "I'm working for the family" begin to resound. We think our work provides everyone the best life, and sometimes this is in fact our concept of "family man." More often than not though, we are working for our own maintanence. Without an increased income, we can't maintain our current lifestyle. We have conditioned our legs to keep walking on the wheel so that we don't have to adjust to a different standard of living.

The irony of the American Dream is that the more opportunities we have, the less identity we assume. The "forever home" with green grass, cul-de-sacs, and recreation sports all look beautiful in photoshop. But we have to work more often in order to keep this well oiled painting fresh, all the while losing ourselves and our families in the process.

Well.... our family made the decision to try a different picture. We are moving fulltime into our RV. No timeline. No home. No second car. No permanent zip code. No church. No school. No teams. Not much of anything... but each other, and from our part-time experience, it gets pretty tight.

Still, it's a clean sheet of white paper for God to write the next chapter--the pages will be filled with things we can't even think of now. There are going to be some really hard parts of this story. Some lonely moments, cramped and frustated moments, sad and scary moments, but we know this is exactly what God is calling us to do. Even as a planner, a teacher, and the only female in the rig, I know God wants me to let go of knowing and give Him control of every minute of the day.Then I get to see Him work because we trust in obedience.

We are not becoming "missionaries" in the traditional sense of the word. We don't have a place or a people we feel called to reach, but we feel called to live on misison, moving around as many of the first disciples did. Not everyone has an opportunity to leave their routine or their jobs, but when God says get up, sell your stuff and follow me, there's nothing left to do but go. We can all do something to escape the hamster wheel, even the smallest step of faithful obedience clears the page for God to write a new, exciting chapter. So break free, and gain fearless faith... it's a thrilling suspence and tranquil peace all at once. Come February we will join many other fulltime road scholars and mobile missionaries to see how we can grow more like Jesus.

"Jesus said, 'I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent'” (Luke 4:43)

~Carefully and Carelessly Stepping off

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