I just want to run away from my life. The noise of children, the television, my husband's voice. I am often too tired to handle or process any of it.
I just want to run...
To just disappear, like Houdini, from situations and people that feel threatening or uncomfortable.
Silence in our house is both a blessing and curse. I let silence make a moat around me to keep risk or vulnerability at bay.
I never do run though.
Because the trouble with running away is that you never learn what happens when you stay. It could be something painful...or something exquisitely good.
There are times when removing yourself from dysfunction is necessary, but running from everyday unease often means never risking the possibility that staying put might just be the greatest adventure of all.
Stay with me for this moment.
In Jesus' story of the prodigal son, the stay-at-home brother resented the run-away one. He couldn't understand why he didn't get more credit for staying put or why the runaway was welcomed with a feast.
When he told his father how he felt the father reminded him, "All I have has been yours this whole time."
I did some background reading on this story. The Father actually runs to meet his son! This is actually a story well known in Jewish culture. In the original story, the son is ostracized by his father and by the community and it starts by the city gate...
The Father runs to the son to get to him before the elders do. He runs to tell him how much he loves him and how glad he is to be back home! He knows the consequences of his son showing up at this point and tries to prevent it. He saves his son in more than one way in this story.
Let's go back to the elder brother. The elder brother could have pressed in and enjoyed what belonged to him, but he did not.
Even though he stayed, his heart was far from his father's. The Father and the Prodigal were probably having a great time while the brother...
Where is your heart? Are you going through the motions and feeling the emotions? Are you truly living? Are you genuinely enjoying relationships?
Habits of the heart don't change overnight. But stories can be re-written--even old ones--one line at a time. The Father's heart is always for his children.
This is probably why I like writing as much as I do. Changing things one line at a time makes good sense. Jesus changed this well known story and it has been told a thousand times over.
So today I'm resisting the urge to run, and learning to stay and love the goodness that has long been mine, no suitcase in sight.
His father said to him, "Look, dear son, you have always stayed with me and everything I have is yours." (Luke 15:31)