Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Keep on Running Away

The movie Forrest Gump tells the story of a man with an IQ of 75 and his epic journey through life, meeting historical figures, influencing popular culture and experiencing first-hand historic events while largely unaware of their significance, due to his lower than average intelligence. Throughout the movie, we find that Forrest, although not smart, is hopelessly in love with his childhood friend, Jenny. Jenny leaves town, and Forrest doesn’t see her for a long time. However, she shows up one day and lives with Forrest for a while. One day Forrest finds that she has left once again. His solution to handling the feelings of loss was to run.

That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd just run across Greenbow County. And I figured, since I run this far, maybe I'd just run across the great state of Alabama. And that's what I did. I ran clear across Alabama. For no particular reason I just kept on going. I ran clear to the ocean. And when I got there, I figured, since I'd gone this far, I might as well turn around, and just keep on going. When I got to another ocean, I figured, since I'd gone this far, I might as well just turn back, and keep right on going.(Forrest Gump)

He just kept running to get away from his problems. However, after running for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days, and 16 hours, he realized that you can’t run away from your problems. None of us can.

The same is true when you are running from God. For those who have accepted Christ, trying to get away from what God wants you to do, and where God wants you to go, is futile. For some reason, we think we can run hard enough in the other direction, or even hide somewhere well enough that God cannot find us or see us. God, however, is always with us.

This reminds me of the story I read last week about James Wombles from Ohio, who went on a burglary spree. He robbed six different residences before police could catch him. How did they catch him? He had been convicted of a crime previously and was wearing a GPS ankle bracelet installed by law enforcement. When officers realized the robberies were happening in the vicinity of Wombles’ location, they were suspicious. As they tracked his GPS anklet, they discovered him to indeed be the burglar. When they finally arrested him, he was relaxing in a vehicle full of the stolen items.

This seems silly to us doesn’t it? One would think if you were tethered to the police by a GPS system, you would try to stay out of trouble. However, he thought he could get away with committing crimes even though the police knew all along where he was.

The Bible tells us that God is all around us. He sees all, he knows all. Instead of thinking in the negative, try to remember that no matter where we are; we are only a prayer away from our Heavenly Father. He is with us when we hurt, when we are down, when we are grieving, and when we are happy, excited, and celebrating. He loves us and wants to be involved in all aspects of our lives. Will you let him?

Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. (Psalm 139:7-8)

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