Jump off the Hamster Wheel
by Rhonda Dragomir
“Faithful is he who has called you; it is he who shall perform it”
Visits to the pet store always brighten my day. Colorful advertisements and images of cute animals line the store shelves. I admire the live pets—cuddly chinchillas and shudder-inducing rats, but I scoot by one display without a glance: the hamsters.
The life of a hamster glares as a harsh metaphor for my own. I’m a performance junkie. The more I accomplish in a day, the more successful I feel. Hamsters seem to run on their exercise wheel with ease, not straining to the point of fatigue. Yet if I imagine myself running as a hamster through my busy schedule, my eyes would bulge and my tongue would loll out of my mouth.
My writing career has advanced slowly, and the wheel has never turned fast enough to suit me. So I buckle down and run faster. But most days my scenery doesn’t seem to change, just like that of pet store hamsters.
Culture tells us if we’re not reaching our goals, we simply need to try harder. But the writer of Ecclesiastes asks, “What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun?” (Ecclesiastes 1:3). I relate to the despair of his answer, “when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless” (1:11).
I often share the biblical writer’s conundrum and want to jump off the hamster wheel. What if I tell God I can’t plot, characterize, edit, query, submit, and post on social media, too? What if I just quit?
I reached that point recently and my whiny prayer entered the throne room of God. He answered by directing me to 1 Thessalonians 5:24, “Faithful is He who has called you; it is He who shall perform it” (HBPT).
I submitted to God and accepted his reassignment of roles that day.
He serves as the performer—the writer—and I as his scribe. He inspires, while I type his words. He queries, and acceptance or rejection belongs to him, not me.
What a relief! Now I watch him move, and he never runs on a futile wheel. He’s going places.
Would someone please pass the peanuts?
God, I repent for thinking my efforts alone will lead to success. Help me turn my writing career over to you. Thank you for your faithfulness. Amen.
Rhonda Dragomir is a multimedia creative who treasures her fairy tale life in Central Kentucky, insisting her home is her castle, even if her prince refuses to dig a moat. She is an award-winning author with published works in several anthologies and periodicals. Barbour Books will release her debut novel, a historical romance titled When the Flames Ravaged, in 2024. Visit her website to learn more: https://rhondadragomir.com