Friday, April 29, 2016

Run for Your Life!

Do you remember threatening to run away from home when you were young? What child hasn't? My daughter once informed me that she was running away, so I pulled down her little pink Barbie suitcase from the top shelf in her closet, placed it on the bed, and very kindly asked her if she'd like me to help her pack. She cried, and quickly changed her mind.

I ran away when I was 18. Having always tended toward the dramatic, I didn't just go across town to my friend's house. No, I had to go clear across the country to California. I wanted to get as far away as I could. But I only ran, as the saying goes, "from the frying pan into the fire." My problems didn't go away. They followed me.

My mother and I were reminiscing recently about how I ran track in ninth grade. I wasn't great or fast but I tried my best, and I had fun. She recalled a meet where she was sitting in the stands watching me sprint around the track and said to the person next to her, "That's my daughter." Typical of parents, right? The proud mama pointing out the girl who is not quite in the lead, but not at the end either. But I was a child of divorce and it was still fresh and raw for all of us. 

She continued. "Yes, that's my daughter, and she's running for her life." Then she cried. We seem to do a lot of that in our family. 

Forty plus years later after she told me this story, I pondered that statement. Had I been running for my life? Did I run track to get away from something? Did I go across the country to escape? Sure I did. That's why we run away. To escape the prison we feel trapped in. 

But in the heat of the moment, we don't stop to think rationally. We don't realize that while we are running from something, we are always running to something. Always.

If we don't have clear direction on what we are running to, we will most likely end up trotting in circles, back to what we were running from. It may look and feel different, but if we don't deal with what we're running from, we'll only keep returning to it--just like a dog returns to its vomit. Gross, I know, but hey, it's in the Bible. (And have you ever watched a dog? Really, they do that.)

As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly 
Proverbs 26:11

It is only when we stop running that we can face the demons of our past, the fears that chase us, and the lies that tell us that no one loves us, accepts us, understands us, or appreciates us. When we stop running for our lives, we realize how exhausted we have become. 

And if we ask, the Holy Spirit helps us catch our breath and gives us the strength to run to God. And the best part is--we don't even have to physically exert ourselves to get there. All we need to do is turn around and there He is. We find the love, acceptance, understanding, and appreciation we so desperately craved. All those years we wasted running. He gives us all of this and more.

Forty something years later, I'm running for my life again. This time, I'm doing it for all the right reasons. I'm running away from apathetic attitudes and ignorant habits and running toward better overall health. There is no metaphor associated with my physical running. But before I tie my sneakers, I always look up and run to God. I can't get through life without Him.

Blessings, as you run your race,

Running to You-Bethany Worship


  1. There have been times when I've been running for my life (or running from my life!) I've made many mistakes in my years, and sometimes the guilt has chased me down. Fortunately, God helps me refocus. Like Paul, we forget the past and press on toward the prize. I think it's the finishing line that counts - and I'm running toward the Author and Finisher of my faith - JESUS!!


  2. Thanks for this, Mary. Lots of insight here that blessed me. It's all a journey isn't it, and by His grace we can run the race with Him. Blessings my friend!!