Recently, I’ve been struck by the way my daughter runs.
Now I’m not talking about the quick shuffle of her little legs, or the short length of her stride, or even the awkward, airplane-like way she puts out her arms and tries to balance her short, little self. No; I’m talking about the way she runs when things get hard.
So what do I mean? Well…let me explain.
When little girl gets frustrated, she runs.
When little girl’s feelings are hurt, she runs.
When little girl is scared, she runs.
When little girl is angry, she runs.
When little girl has been disobedient, she runs.
When little girl is feeling shy, or overwhelmed, or unsure, she runs.
Suffice to say, little girl does lots of running these days.
So where exactly does little girl run when things get big and hard, overwhelming and scary?
She often runs toward (her earthly parents).
And why does she do this?
Because she knows we’re safe.
Because she trusts we’ll care.
Because she believes we’ll protect.
Because she thinks we’ll support.
Because she knows that she can’t, but we can.
Because she remembers that we are good, and we are loving, and we are kind parents who want to graciously help her through her “hard.”
And in observing this pattern in my little girl, I’ve started to realize that little girl’s mommy often runs in such a different, less-helpful direction.
When little girl’s mommy gets frustrated about her circumstances, she runs.
When little girl’s mommy feels hurt by someone’s actions, she runs.
When little girl’s mommy is scared about a situation, she runs.
When little girl’s mommy is angry about the things of life, she runs.
When little girl’s mommy has been disobedient and sinned, she runs.
When little girl’s mommy is feeling shy, or overwhelmed, or unsure, she runs.
Suffice to say, little girl’s mommy has been doing a fair share of running these days, too.
So where exactly has little girl’s mommy been running when things get big and hard, overwhelming and scary?
She often runs away (from her heavenly father).
And why does she do this?
Because she knows that it’s sometimes easier to hide the “hard” than to see it, acknowledge it, and deal with it.
Because she trusts in her own ability to fix it, understand it, and make it better.
Because she believes that it’s “no big deal” to live her life independently.
Because she thinks others will be more helpful and more supportive in the moments of her “hard.”
Because she forgets that He could, and should, and would be her #1 if she let Him be.
Because she neglects to remember that He is good, and He is loving, and He is a kind Father who wants to graciously help her through ALL her “hard.”
Oh, that I would embody the “running toward” that my daughter exhibits!
Oh, that I would emulate the “flail-my-body-and-my-worries-and-my pain-and-my-yuck-and-all-my-hard-into-your-arms-and-your-lap” kind of run that my daughter consistently demonstrates and immediately chooses!!
Oh, that I would see my desperate need to run toward and not away!!!
Oh, that I would mimic and mirror not only my daughter’s run, but also the run of King David!!!!
I run to you, God; I run for dear life.
You’re my cave to hide in, my cliff to climb.
Be my safe leader, be my true mountain guide.
but you, God, I trust.
I’m leaping in the circle of your love;
Free me from hidden traps;
I want to hide in you.
I’ve put my life in your hands.
You won’t drop me, you’ll never let me down.
Desperate, I throw myself on you: you are my God!
Ready and waiting for all who run to you;
you hide them safely away.
Selections from Psalm 31, MSG