CHASING SKINNY RABBITS: What Leads You Into Emotional and Spiritual Exhaustion...and What Can Lead You Out
Dr. John Trent
Christian Life/Personal Growth
The treadmill of modern life can wear anyone down. Between work, family and financial responsibilities, it’s easy to see why exhaustion is becoming a way of life for countless people. Yet running yourself ragged doesn’t have to be a way of life. According to Dr. John Trent, president of Encouraging Words and StrongFamilies.com, there are a number of reasons why people are wearing themselves out. They are known as “skinny rabbits.”
In his latest book, CHASING SKINNY RABBITS, Trent identifies the rabbits and their bunny trails that distract and lead people to negative places that sap their time, energy and resources.
“Beware! There are Skinny Rabbits all around you. They lurk at work and hide in the bushes all along your career path. They can lure you away from anything worthy --- a great marriage, a career goal, a lifelong friendship. They can wreak havoc in small groups, workplace teams, and even churches. Chasing a Skinny Rabbit does worse than just get you off track: it will lead you further and further down a path that will drain the very life from you --- killing your excitement, your creativity, your drive.” Trent believes that all too often Skinny Rabbits leave people physically, mentally, spiritually and financially bankrupt. Worst of all, most individuals don’t realize that they’re chasing a Skinny Rabbit until it’s too late and they’ve lost precious time, relationships or even their life.
So what do these dangerous creatures look like? Trent compares them to popular rabbits from literature, television and culture. Among other bunnies, The Magician’s White Rabbit looks appealing but disappears in a moment’s notice. The White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland is always late, and if you follow him you’ll find the door already locked. Peter Rabbit looks cute, but if you’re not careful you’ll end up on Mr. McGregor’s trophy wall. Bugs Bunny will outwit you --- and raise your debt, blood pressure and frustration level. The Playboy Bunny is seductive and will lead your imagination astray. And the Energizer Bunny keeps going and going, but you never know where.
Basically, a Skinny Rabbit is “anything that pulls you away from a path of purpose and life and leads you into a wilderness of exhaustion and regret.”
So how do you know if you’re chasing a Skinny Rabbit? Trent says that it’s important to pay attention to the trail. He identifies some of the most common trails as well as the pits, swamps and caves you may find yourself living in if you follow a trail too long. They include the “All-take-and-no-give-trail,” whereby a relationship leaves you tapped and spent, or the “Possessions that possess us trail,” whereby materialism fuels our decisions and life. On the “Perfect Body Trail,” the desire for beauty taps our time, energy and money. One of the more surprising trails is the “Big Family Event Trail,” whereby organizing a family event leads to more stress and hassle than celebration and joy.
The solution to avoid chasing Skinny Rabbits is to become a wise hunter and pursue the Great Stag --- a relationship with God --- instead. Trent provides practical tips on how to get off of a Skinny Rabbit trail and follow a better trail entirely: the path of peace.
CHASING SKINNY RABBITS is an easy-to-read, thought-provoking book that forces readers to examine where their time and energy are being spent. Though the idea is simple, the implications for change are enormous if placed into practice.
--- Reviewed by Margaret Oines
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