The ability to run without actually moving is an art few have mastered. I, my friend, are one of those few. It doesn’t happen overnight – it is a skill that you must work at but before you know it, you’ll be so good, you’ll be in my position – you know, in a place where you can teach others to do the same.
It’s crazy how much time we spend running – without actually moving, that is. I’ve done my fair share of jogging (gah, I almost vommed at the memory) and there was nothing I hated more than feeling my knees cracking as my feet hit the ground. Although I gave it up pretty soon after I began, in a sense, I’ve never stopped. At every point in my life, I’ve been on the run from something.
I’ve come to conclude that I’m not alone. The majority of us are on the run too: from ourselves, from our jobs, from our friends, families, spouses, God – I think the list goes on. Most of us running, especially those have mastered the art, have made it so that the things and people we are running from probably have no idea that we are running away. We have managed to run while being present, slowly detracting and disconnecting with each passing day.
I think running and fear are positively correlated. By this, I mean, that there is a relationship between fear and running; the more fear we feel, the more likely it is that we will run. If we are used to being alone, having complete autonomy over ourselves and our emotions, and somebody comes along and tries to be close to us: we run. If the purpose for our lives, the things we know were born to do feel too grand; beyond us and out of reach: we run. If the activity we are trying to complete feels too intense or difficult, we can find ourselves running to social media for a quick (or lengthy) escape from our current situation.
I spent last week on the run from God. I committed a heinous crime (I joke, I joke) (kinda) and I just didn’t know what to do with the guilt – I wasn’t sure where to place and yet I was unable to put it down. I told gave a friend a vague synopsis of what had happened and she said, ‘Do not run from God. He knew what you were going to do long before you did and He continued to love you.’ She spoke profound and timely words that were still incapable for stopping me from packing up my bags and running as far as possible from the one who loves me most.
Let me be clear, as I said at the very beginning, I did not actually move. No bags were packed. No doors were opened or closed. From the outside, nothing had changed. Yet, when I looked at my life, a few days ago, I realised that I was struggling to see God, struggling to feel comforted by His love because I’d had gone so many days without letting it wash over me.
My return to God has been as anti-climactic as my departure. There were no tears, no promises of ‘never doing it again’ because experience has taught me that I am fallible; sinning comes (frighteningly) naturally and running will always be easier than staying put and dealing with my fear, guilt and shame.
Instead of the theatrics, instead of making promises that I may break in a few days’ time, I just opened my heart to Him again. I sought to connect: I listened to a sermon, I read a devotional, I prayed; my actions an attempt to be consistent with Him which is, presently, my deepest hope and desire. I can’t commit to never sinning again, but I can commit to trying every single day to be closer to Him.
All my love,