Saturday, October 14, 2006

Running Away

Lately I have had conversations with more than a couple people who share an impulse that I have several times a week. We just want to run away. Do you know what I'm talking about? You might be driving or walking or sitting at your desk and all of a sudden you just get this overwhelming desire to just run away.

My Dad used to get that feeling every Monday. He was a preacher, and Mondays were usually "down" days. I can remember him coming to the breakfast table on Monday morning (back in the days when families regularly ate breakfast together) and saying "David, let's just head for the hills." That was his way of saying, "let's just skip out on all our responsibilities today, and run away."

I have spent time wondering about this feeling, this powerful, spontaneous desire to escape, to leave responsibility behind. Here's some of what I've discovered.

For me, this desire to run usually means that I'm running low on life. Its like my fuel gauge is in the red zone, and the "low fuel" light comes on, and it triggers my flight response. It also means that, being low on fuel, I intuitively understand that the duties, and meetings, and responsibilities I am facing will overwhelm me unless I get some more emotional fuel in the tank. So, here's what I have found works in these down times: I give in to the desire, and run away.

Let me explain. Over and over in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) we read that Jesus would leave the crowds and go away to a quiet place to pray. It seems that even the Savior - God's Son - felt at times that he had to get away. I can only speculate that, being fully human, he felt like I feel sometimes - completely exhausted by people, by projects, by the expectations and obligation of life. And so he left. He left the people, and went away to be by himself, and to be with God. And therein lies the treasure: he didn't just run away from life, he ran to God. He left empty, and returned full.

The next time you're overwhelmed and just have that intense desire to run, go ahead and do it. Just run away from the noise and complexity of life, find a quiet spot, take out your Bible, and begin to read and pray your way into the very presence of Almighty God. Stay awhile . . . He's got time for you. And then, filled up with the wonder of the the Lord, and once again understanding your place in His world, walk back into your responsibilities ready to let your life overflow with the love and grace of Jesus Christ.

Hope this helps,



At 9:41 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I relate to this so well. As I get closer to the end of the first leg of my educational journey I find that I want to leave the valley of books, projects, and endless hours of academic pursuits for the hills of life and family time. The only thing that keeps me centered is the Lord Jesus and time with him in parer and the word.

mark Kinnen


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