They have names. "Busy." "Sense". "Unlucky". Or "Adventure".
They're the young adults who move to faraway places in reaction to the dissatisfaction of now. They're the Moms who check out of the marriage and into the romance novel. They're the Dads chasing praise at the office when none seems to flow from the home. They're even the lonely men and women who tire of waiting for companionship and look to places that sensitive hearts have no place venturing.
In our grown-up tantrums, we often run - maybe not always physically, but emotionally. Indeed, if we even choose our words carefully, we can paint them to look as if they are "God's plan" for our lives, "meant to be."
It's in the hiding that we perceive protection.
In his own time, the breathing slows, the fists relax, and he becomes ready to face his little piece of the world that's our family once again. "Mom, are you here?"
In that single question, he speaks aloud the desire God-planted into every heart - the three-year-old heart and the 83-year-old heart.
Am I alone or are you here?
If I ran, would you call me back?
If I left, would you miss me?
Do you need me?
In our reactions to the pain of this world, it's so tempting to leap out of harm's way, to entertain thoughts that are so heavy that shoulders hunch under the weight and feet refuse to move, not one more inch:
"They're better off without me around.
I'll be safer if I'm the one calling the shots.
Come closer. Stop! That's close enough.
Nobody understands me," we say.
The risk seems insurmountable. But, what if we hold on and we reach out? What if we hold still and conquer the fear? What if we allow somebody to...See.
Loved ones, let's stay. Let's stay when we're scared, or lonely, or exhausted. Let's stay when we're misunderstood or don't agree. Let's remain present just a little bit longer as the tears fall and the chest tightens and the feelings are left raw and open.
Until they aren't anymore. That moment when we allow Him to catch up.
Sometimes God calls us to change - to new cities, to new people, or to remain right where we are, with new hearts. If we go in response to the pain of past experience, we'll drown out His voice with the breathless pants of our sprint and the overwhelming sound of our shoes thumping against the pavement.
Stay. Because you're worth knowing.
With you and for you,
Questions to consider:
1. Are you running? From what?
2. What are some of those scary thoughts you may be having that indicate a need for help?
3. Who do you need to ask for support?
4. What scripture can you focus on this week will help you to build courage and faith in God?