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The Runaway
Running Boy
Photo: Hemera
Sitting down by the small campfire, I reached out for the can of Campbell's Vegetable soup anticipating a great supper all to myself. I was free. Free from my parents rules, free from chores, and free from a life where I constantly answered to someone!

At the ripe old age of nine, I had decided to run away from home and strike out on a big adventure. Sitting beside my little campfire I enjoyed the delicious thoughts of people missing me, living without rules, and playing all day while everyone else was attending school. My plans were interrupted by a most unexpected realization. I didn’t have a can opener. In fact, I didn’t even have a spoon.

As I stared blankly into the tiny blaze, I began to recount what I had done, and how poorly I had planned running away from home. I had not put any forethought into my permanent vacation, and as I honestly assessed my predicament I began to understand that not only was I not going to make it through the first night, I wouldn’t even make it through the first meal.

I quickly put out the fire, grabbed my can of soup, and made a hasty retreat toward home. I imagined my mother standing at the stove preparing supper and an empty feeling grew in the pit of my stomach. The thought of delicious smells coming from the kitchen quickened my steps and running away seemed like an error in judgment.

Still Running Away

When I recently recounted that memory from my childhood, I was reminded that even as adults we often "run away from home." Not in the physical sense, but spiritually. We pack our emotional bags, strike out on our own, and tell ourselves that “out there somewhere” lies a life that we have always dreamed of having; a life of freedom, a life of peace, a life without rules.

“Refuse discipline and end up homeless; embrace correction and live an honored life” (Proverbs 13:18).

The results of running away from God and those rules that have been placed in the Scriptures for our protection are still the same. We end up miserable and spiritually homeless, without any real eternal direction. The biblical answer for runaways is the same as it was for me when I was nine; God waits patiently for our return. Perhaps it’s time to head back home.

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By Michael Temple. Copyright © 2006 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the THE MESSAGE / REMIX ®.

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