How Moe Broke Out of His Rut

by Joe Plemon on February 4, 2011

Moe was stuck in a rut

Moe had it made. He was adopted by a wealthy family and given all of the privileges that came with sonship.  A gifted student, he flourished as he studied at the finest universities. Moe could have worked in the family business and lived a life of leisure. He could have had limitless wealth, enormous prestige, international recognition and boundless power and position.

But  something was missing.  That life of comfort and luxury didn’t match Moe’s temperament;  such a life, for him, was one of boredom and predictability. He was stuck in a rut, but breaking out tested him to the core of his being. Why? Because it was all or none; his father made it clear that should Moe decide to leave the family business, he would be disinherited, penniless and on the street.

He therefore had to choose between his humdrum life of ease or a life of poverty and uncertainty. What do you think he did? What would you do?

Moe broke out of his rut.

He dedicated his life to being a spokesman for a persecuted minority group in his nation…a group which his adopted father hated so deeply that he not only disowned his son, but made him a lifetime enemy.

How did it go?

Moe was never again in a rut as he advocated for this group. Even though he led them to a new freedom, he faced dangers from without and confrontations from within. He was misunderstood and under appreciated for most of his life. Yet those very hardships molded him into a man of character and resolve…he stood up to his enemies and stayed true to his people. Moe, in my mind, was a hero.

The rest of the story

By now you may have recognized Moe to be Moses from the bible (See Hebrews 11:24-27 for a quick overview). Hopefully, his life will inspire you to never settle for the easy life when deeper issues are whispering in your ear.

What does breaking out of the rut really mean?

Financial aspect

Many define breaking out of life’s rut as achieving a financial liberty which allows you to more clearly chart your own course instead of being stuck under the thumbnail of a J-O-B. I say, “Go for it!” and I applaud your every effort to not allow financial considerations to dictate your day to day activities. However, I believe there is more to it…

A higher purpose

Although money was not an issue for Moses, he was nevertheless trapped. He was going through the motions of living without ever actually discovering why he was given life. Moses made the tough, tough decision to no longer work for “the man” so he could work for THE MAN. From that point on, his life was never easy. But it was focused and meaningful.

How about you?

Is your life mundane because you pursue what others expect of you? Do you stay in that dead end job because it pays the bills or because you have been there too many years to try something different?

I challenge you to learn from Moses. God put you here on earth for a reason. Any life other than pursuing that reason is a life in a rut. Like Moses, breaking free could well bring about a life fraught with hardships and misunderstandings, but it will also be a life of purpose and fulfillment.

Like Moses, you will never look back.

Readers: What does “breaking out of the rut” mean to you?  Have you already done so?  If not, how do you plan to do so?

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

krantcents February 4, 2011 at 12:42 pm

I guess I broke out of a rut! People asked me why would leave a lucrative career to become a teacher? I am following my passion and I have no regrets! Instead of working 60+ hours and commuting 2-3 hours a day, I have a lot less stress, a fulfilling career about 95% of the time and so much more. I developed business classes starting with personal financial management, careers, wall street and business management. I am respected by faculty, administration and students and encouraged to do more. I earn additional money teaching summer school, auxiliary classes and after school and still have 6 weeks off a year. This fulfills me more than prior careers. This sparked my interest in blogging and my students get to experience that part of me too. I may not be earning quite as much as before, but I have grown professionally and personally because of the change.

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Everyday Tips February 4, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Hey, I just realized this linked to my post on Yakezie, and I read it once earlier this morning.

I admire Moe. To walk away from ‘easy’ money to pursue a more difficult, although more meaningful, life is an amazing act.

Ruts are a difficult thing. I didn’t even know I was in mine until a few months into it. Allowing yourself to find something you enjoy instead of functioning on auto-pilot everyday is a good way to start.

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Dave@50plusfinance February 4, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Great job on updating the Moses story. I didn’t “go for it” as you say. I stuck in the predictable path. My higher purpose never surfaced. I’m in the rut and don’t see that changing.
In my case and if I were Moe, I would have stayed with the family business. Maybe Moe saw his purpose, some aren’t so lucky.

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joeplemon February 5, 2011 at 12:08 pm

@krantcents,
Congrats on leaving that “lucrative” job to follow your passion! I am certain that you are making lasting impressions on your students. I love how you involve them in the blogging process. Exactly how do you do so?

@Everyday,
Your Yakezie post complemented this one well…it was a great one to link to!

@Dave,
I love your candor! I have a hunch that you are in good company (myself included) when you say your higher purpose never surfaced. I worked as an engineer for most of my life, always wondering what I would do when I grew up. I liked my engineering career, but never was passionate about it. Still, looking back, I believe now that an all powerful God could have communicated my “higher purpose” any time He so desired. The fact that He didn’t do so tells me that I must have been right where he wanted me all along.

Does God want us in a rut? I don’t think so. But I do think that he can use us where we are, and will reveal that “higher purpose” if and when he so chooses.

By the way, one’s career doesn’t HAVE to fulfill one’s purpose. Paul’s purpose was to be a missionary, something he was extremely passionate about. But he labored as a tent maker…something that probably wasn’t all that fulfilling.

Me? I am passionate about teaching Sunday School class, leading Financial Peace University groups, going on mission trips, and loving my wife and family. Engineering, for me, was a form of making tents.

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