Where Can We Run and Be Safe?

“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living” (Luke 15:13, NIV).

Where does a person run to when he or she runs from the ONE? This isn’t an exercise in the abstract.

David of and-Goliath fame asked that question. “Where can I flee from your presence?” (Psalm 139:7b, NIV). In-the-belly-of-a-whale Jonah’s attempt at an answer put him on the bottom of the sea.

The ONE shows up. We run.

To food (that’s a favorite of mine).

To drink (coffee’s my preferred choice, a little cream, a little flavoring, a little caffeine buzz).

To games (oh, how I love my computer and its many options—Free Cell, Solitaire, Hearts).

To shallow relationships (where we don’t even know each other’s real name—2 sweetasahoneybee from doubledimples).

To all kinds of other distractions (vacations, books, movies, gardens…).

None of the above is wrong in itself. But all can be like the tugging of the tide.

We splash around. We duck underwater. We swim a bit. And before we know it, the tide pushes us so far down the beach or so far off the shore, we have no idea how to return home.

We drift a bit.

We dream a little.

Or we flat out beat feet.

Frightened by a holy presence.

Terrified if He gets too close He’ll change us (even though we want to be different, just not His kind of different, because His kind of different is…well…too different!).

And we discover ourselves in a distant country.

So what happens in a distant country far from the ONE?

We wander from…

Our identity.

Our purpose.

Our place in this big world.

We squander…

Our wealth.

Our talents.

Our opportunities.

We wander. We squander. Then we wonder why?

And have we gone too far?

And can we ever go back?

And would the ONE even want us back if we could get back?

Questions: What distracts you on the JOURNEY and pulls you away from the ONE? What helps bring you back into His presence?

About tnealtarver

I've traveled and spoken around the world but always love to come home. There I eat exceptional meals, drink coffee to my heart's content, and get loved like nowhere else on earth. I believe a community centered in Christ should be all that and so much more.
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3 Responses to Where Can We Run and Be Safe?

  1. MARY Jeffries says:

    Hey, it seems like you wrote this one just for me! Distractions are everywhere, but then again so is the ONE. I am learning that sometimes what appears to be a distraction can actually cause you to focus more on the ONE, because you have to……because if you are going to stay connected to the ONE you have to intentionally make the effort to do it.

    I also am learning that sometimes the ONE allows us these distractions to open our eyes to things we may have missed if we had not been distracted….like seeing the sunrise in a new way, or a sunflower with a deeper sense of appreciation, or finding that behind the distraction lies something deeper that you would have missed on your journey if the distraction had not come along and caused you to look in a different place for the ONE….because the ONE is before me, behind me, above me, below me, beside me, around me, within me….. and yet sometimes I miss the ONE all together because I am so busy doing and being and not seeing and living……

    so yes, distractions can and do pull us from the ONE….but sometimes they also help us see the ONE in a new way…


  2. Pingback: What Happens in a Distant Country? | A Curious Band of Others

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