running

For someone who has been enduring arthritic knees since age 12, I’m a pretty good runner—albeit on a different track. Of late I’ve been catching myself on the run. The sweating and the panting are never outwardly evident; but when I pause and reflect, I find my heart’s pulse rapid and my spirit’s limbs cramping. There is no mistaking it—I’m sprinting. Like crazy.

Escaping is the more accurate word, really.

But, escaping from what? A lot of things—most of which I can identify with certainty, while some remain phantoms, perceptible only through the anxiety they inflict. These unwanted “things” seem so many that the escape route from one could be the shortcut to another. I turn my back to run away from Point A only to screech to a halt when I realize I’m headed straight to Point B (where I’d also rather not be). In panicked self-preservation I change course and aim for Point C—but who knows if Point C is any safer? It could well be another destination to avoid, to escape from…

It’s maddening—this running, this escaping. There is hardly any time to catch my breath. The frenetic dash wearies the soul. Although the fatigue it begets is a welcome anesthetic, it is not potent enough to delude me into thinking that the escape is the answer. I am well aware that I cannot outrun these “things.” Running away may bring temporary respite and provide precious little space and time to disengage and regroup. But no limbs, especially those of the spirit, can endure running away forever. They are meant for nobler things—like standing up, trembling knees and all, and striding courageously to face life’s giants.

I will have to stop running at some point, turn back around and face the very things that had precipitated this mad flight in the first place. Identified or phantom, familiar or faceless, the giants need to be confronted. I’ve done it before. And I didn’t do it alone. I yearn for grace once again to rest in the truth that I have an Advocate. That even when my faithlessness causes me to run, there is One who, in love, keeps abreast with me, whose arms are long and strong to secure this restless, fearful creature.

The most tragic thing I can do is try to run away from Him (and maybe I am doing that now). The wisest is to be running to Him, just like a little child to his father. Just like I used to.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,

even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”

even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

Psalm 139.7-11 (New International Version)

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5 thoughts on “running”

  1. This post could well have been written by Jonah, trying to run away from God, or what God wanted him to do. He ended up in the belly of a fish–not a good place to be.
    Isn’t it amazing that God hasn’t given up on us–sometimes faithless, ungrateful creatures that we are? Nor will He ever give up on us, on you–ever. Running away can get a little tiring, and will only make us feel more lost. Running to Him–that kind of running–is restful. Let Him calm all your fears away. 🙂

    thanks, beng 🙂 sillyserious

  2. We all have had our moments of running away from God, and running back to Him. You’re not alone, mah gud frend. And you’re psalm pointed out our comfort, that though we think we’ve run far from God, we have not gotten far at all. I’m thinking of a baby in the arms of a mother, squirming. We’re like that, squirming in the arms of our loving God. Praying that you’ll run to him, and rest in Him. Hehe, stop squirming. 🙂

    squirmy me… hehe. ur wisdom is always a blessing, mah gud pwend 🙂 thank you. sillyserious

  3. You changed your look again?! For a second there I thought I was in a different zone. Escaping, now that’s a word we are all familiar with. At some points in our lives we want to sneak away and run. But the direction always takes a turn and we find ourselves going back.

    true, true… 🙂 thanks for dropping by ‘anonymous’ (is this deliberate or u just forgot to leave ur name?). as for the new look (again), blog tweaking is therapeutic 🙂 sillyserious

  4. You said, “Running away may bring temporary respite and provide precious little space and time to disengage and regroup.” So true! Running away doesnt always have to be a negative thing–we do need to retreat and regroup, and the great thing is, God knows that and takes care of us even at that point. I love the story of Elijah when he fled from Jezebel, how God met and cared for him at his “escape route.” 🙂

    i say ‘amen’ to that, gypsy! 🙂 sillyserious

  5. I’ve done my share of running both literally and figuratively. Sometimes it’s teh only thing you can do while you’re trying to think of a solution to whatever you’re running away from.

    off topic, you’re cycling through templates like a girl cycles through shoes. 😀

    haha! it’s such a waste to stick to one template when the possibilities are endless 😉 besides, as i’ve said, it’s therapeutic – maybe much like a girl would “cycle shoes,” only without the cramps and the scraped ankle 😛 sillyserious

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