Running away

blogvacation2“We run away all the time to avoid coming face to face with ourselves.” ~Author Unknown

For a good portion of this middle-aged empty nest Mama’s life, I couldn’t wait to get back home.

And now that I am home, I occasionally think about running away.  Get outta town!  Really??

We often use the phrase ‘get outta town’ when we don’t believe a whopper of a story someone tells us.  You just saw a Martian walking down Main Street?  Get outta town!  Bigfoot’s camping out in your back yard? Get outta town! You just won $10 million in the lottery?  Get outta town!

You feel like selling your house and moving? Get outta town! Most people who know me well would be shocked to hear me admit that sometimes I think about that very thing.  They know I waited so long to finally move back to my home state and stay put in one spot for a change.

See, for many years, Mama’s family was on the move due to hubby’s job changes and re-locations.  We managed through four moves in the first seven years of our marriage and three moves in the next eight years.  After six years, we made the biggest move of all – from one coast of our country to another.

And we’ve succeeded in planting ourselves firmly back here in the homeland for almost 13 years.  So why this sudden urge to run away from home?  I have no idea where this goofy idea is coming from.

The other night, too bushed to blog, I mindlessly surfed the net when an internet article caught my attention in a big way.  The site listed real estate offerings in other states, and I started perusing them.

“Oh, look hubby, want to move to South Carolina?  We could buy this house for [insert listing price here].  Or here’s a foreclosure on a new house in [such and such place] Georgia.”   He answered, “Sure,” probably just to jolt me back to reality.

Just for fun I started inserting various cities in the search engine and scrutinized listings hither and yon, which for some reason fueled a burst of enthusiasm and excitement in me.  That’s why I’m examining my motives today.  Part of me just wants to run away somewhere new like in the Carrie Underwood song, “Get Out of This Town.”

Is my urge to flee stemming from boredom?  Could it be I’m weary of the weather?  Or the colorless scene outside my window?  Or am I just looking for an escape from the trials of life?

My mother was a very wise woman.  She often said that you could never run away from your problems because no matter where you ran to, your problems would always follow you there.  That was one piece of her advice that I always chose to listen to.

I think that’s why I possess a strong determination to “just deal” with life’s problems as they come. Stick it out, persevere, work your way through it.  That’s me.  I like to imagine I’ve inherited this from my father as well whose family ancestry’s motto is “Never Despair” but perhaps the reality of it is that I’m just too stubborn to surrender.

So I guess I won’t be running away from home after all on this third page of Chapter 3 in Opportunity.  Although I certainly could use a little trip away from the bland and bleak scenery outside my window….somewhere warm, but not too hot….somewhere green where the sun spreads radiance and balminess…somewhere.

“All men should strive to learn before they die, what they are running from, and to, and why.” ~James Thurber



Still haven’t found what you’re looking for?

blogIMG_0371Wandering up and down the aisles.   Turning left, then turning right.   Searching, seeking, hunting.

While rambling through a local discount store one day in pursuit of a particular item, I found it rather amusing that U2’s song, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” accompanied my quest as it was played on the store’s public address system.

I continued exploring the store singing “I have run, I have crawled, I have scaled these city walls, these city walls, only to be with you.  But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.  But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”

And I didn’t find what I was looking for. I departed the store without the item, but with that song firmly anchored in my head.  The lyrics reminded me how often we humans search, explore, and literally travel on a quest to find some spiritual meaning to life, yet the answer is right in front of us.

One day a few summers ago, our garage door stood open for most of the day.   Son was trimming the yard and whacking down the weeds with the weed-eater, so he was in and out of the garage.   I was outside pulling weeds from the flower beds.

When we finished and were closing the door, we realized a tiny bird had flown into the garage and couldn’t find his way out.  That little thing was in an absolute frenzy.   He flew frantically from one corner of the garage to the other. He lit on the extension ladder, which hung on the wall, to rest for a second, and then off he flew again.  He even perched periodically on the open garage door itself, but could not seem to figure his way out of his predicament.

Son, middle daughter, and I attempted to aid his escape, but he became even more panicked.  Our cat never took her eye off him, obviously expecting a tasty bird dinner sometime soon.   After shooing the cat away, I thought surely the bird would come to his senses and fly out.

But he persistently flew into the ceiling of the garage over and over again, as if he could make an opening to escape by banging his head into the wall.  Soon he was bleeding.  We all felt such pity for this little creature and expected him to die either from exhaustion or smacking his head on the ceiling one too many times.

Finally, he discovered his way out and escaped.   The thing was the double car garage door was open the entire time.   The way was clear and wide open, yet that little bird couldn’t seem to see it.

Aren’t we just like that bird?

blogIMG_0380We get so caught up in our situations, distressed and distraught, and we bang our heads in frustration until we’re bloodied.

We panic and in our fluster, run around like a chicken with its head cut off, pardon the connection.

And the entire time, the answer, the help we need, or the solution is right there.   In front of us.  The door is open.  Every time we lose our way, God is there to help us out.

We don’t have to search.  We don’t have to wander aimlessly. He’s there, waiting.  He flings the door wide open for us to come to Him.  All we have to do is walk through it.   He is what we’re looking for.