“I need to stop fantasizing about running away to some other life and start figuring out the one I have.”
~ Holly Black,
We may not like to face this about ourselves; however, our human nature carries within itself the propensity to run away from problems. In today’s gospel, we read about that happening to a couple of disciples who are “hightailing it” out of town after Jesus’ death on the cross. They were going away from Jerusalem as fast and far as they could because they feared. They feared that they might be among the next to be killed.
They abandoned all the hope that they had in the Lord and His words. They abandoned all the dreams that they had about a new life and a new world. They abandoned the company of others who believed as they did.
In their fearful leaving, they encountered Jesus on the road but did not know that it was Him. Fear had so clouded their hearts and souls that they could not recognize Jesus. Even as He spoke to them, they did not know it was Him. While Jesus spoke, their hearts began to stir as they did in the past. They did not know what to make of that.
When evening came and they prepared to make camp, Jesus indicated that He was going to continue on the road. They asked Him to stay with them and, as He broke bread with them, their eyes were opened. Finally realizing that Jesus was in their midst, He vanished from their sight.
This time, His absence did not fill them with fear or dread. They were beginning to understand all that Jesus had explained to them on the road and their hearts and souls were ignited again. They had run away in fear but, after encountering Jesus, they ran back in joy to tell the others that Jesus had appeared to them.
We run from many things in our lives and we generally do so out of fear: fear that we may be misunderstood, fear that we may be judged, fear that we may be harmed. Fear is a negative motivator. It does not move us in the right direction, it moves us in the wrong direction.
Fear encourages us to run so that we can find something else. That something will never be a solution, though. That something will just lead us farther from where we need to be. Search your life and ask yourself if it is time to quit running.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for all those who are running from God’s will, that they have the courage to embrace His will and learn from His love.