Working on a Dream




Monday, October 18, 2010

Going Home: A story of embracing the run away

FallA season I love to hate.  I love it because it is the time of year when the greatest painter of all, God, gets out His brush and paints the most beautiful landscapes.  I love it because this is the time of year I can thrown on my LL Bean boots, a pair of old jeans, a sweater, and go outdoors.  I love it because it always reminds me of football season, pumpkin flavored everything, and Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday). 

Fall. A season I love to hate.  I hate it because just after it, comes the dreaded Western Pa Winter.  A cold that starts and then likes to hang around far too company that will just not leave!  I hate it because after the leaves turn all pretty, they fall to the ground...and I have to pick them up with an over sized fork. 

Speaking of raking leaves, just last week I got all psyched up to get in my "fall gear" and do some yard work.  As I was raking, Charlie Brown was in the house (for those of you new to this blog, Charlie is my co-dependent Lab).  Now Charlie is no fool, and he KNEW I was just outside the house working.  So about an hour into this chore, my wife comes out to check on me and I hear her yell, "CHARLIE GET BACK HERE!!!" 

Charlie escaped.

If your reading this and you (1) have a dog (2) ever had a dog (3) seen a dog, even if it was your neighbors or on TV...  You have never seen a dog quite like Charlie.   When he escapes, he runs.  I think he thinks it's a game where I chase him and he runs away, and then he stops and waits until I get about 2 feet behind him and them he runs again.  This goes on quite awhile and I am sure the neighbors really enjoy watching this.  

Anyway, Charlie's initial pressure was to get outside by me. But after his jailbreak, it turned into his favorite game of tag. 

Here is what happened in "real-time" in that moment:  After Christen yelled, I walked around the house and I see CharlieCharlie sees me.  Charlie starts running away from me.  I start running toward Charlie

I stop. 

I think real fast.

I get down on my knee,  I clap.  I yell, "Charlie, good boy!  good boy!  Come on!  good boy...come here!!"

Charlie stops. 
Charlie runs to Anthony.  
I take Charlie in my arms and hug him.   I pet him and tell him how much of a good boy he is. 

I then get the leash and put him on it and leave him outside right next to me as I finish the raking. 

The Point:
Why would Charlie ever choose to run toward me when I represent someone that is angry and/or hostile toward him?  If anything, I only ensure that he will notThink of how many times as a child, you wanted desperately to go to your parents and talk with them about issues in your lives but were just too scared.  It is just like a dog that escapes and runs away knowing that the one place that is safest -actually is the most dangerous at the moment. 

As a parent, you have to always be thinking about leaving the lines of communication open with your child(ren).  If not, your child will find lines of communication, it will just not be with you.  And you and I both know, that could be scary.  Lunch table advice at the school cafeteria can often lead to some bad outcomes.

To take this a bit further, I think that there is also something to learn about God in the above analogy.  Why is it that when we sin, we always want to run away from God?  When we do this, we are following the same pattern that Adam and Eve set for us in the garden.  Remember?  They took leaves and made some clothes and then hid from God.

What you and I have to remember is that when we sin and mess things up, it is always better to run TOWARD GOD and NOT AWAY from Him.  Running away from God is a sure way to stay in the mess and then even get messier!  While stepping toward God is our first step to forgiveness and reconciliation. 

Today, if you are running from Him, STOP.   Let today be the first day of healing.  Let today be the day where you let Him grab you and tell you how much He loves you and how glad He is that you finally came back home.

"We were merry and rejoiced, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found."  -Luke 15:32

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