So give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light
‘Cause oh that gave me such a fright
But I will hold as long as you like
Just promise me we’ll be alright
-Mumford and Sons
Running away… the list of things I have run from is long. I was a pretty timid kid, and sports were the thing I couldn’t commit to. I remember when I played softball one year. Yea that didn’t last longer than one practice. I quit soccer because I had a bad attitude towards my coach. Into my teenage years I struggled to commit myself to school and became an extreme procrastinator, a culture that I brought with myself into college (more on that later). Music, although my most consistent passion, has always been more about my natural ability and a slow growth over many years, and has not really been about the hard work I put into it. And the cherry on top is this increasing understanding that never having been in a true romantic relationship is based more on my commitment issue than on my waiting on God or humility. When the going gets tough, I tend to run away. Maybe I lack some sort of self confidence, or maybe I just don’t like to struggle. But the fact of the matter is, it was running my life and ruining it.
In September 2013 I went off to Bible college,and truly everything was pretty perfect. I had dreamed of going to this school since I was 15 years old, I was finally out of home, I had a solid core group of friends, and I could see the Rocky Mountains most mornings. I truly loved my life. But, I could not commit myself to school. And down my marks fell. By my second year I was stuck deep in a funk, some sort of subconscious depression. I started to run away from my own life. I stayed up most nights until three or four in the morning, and then slept in until mid afternoon. I had all but completely quit going to my classes. And I wasn’t talking to God at all (I am in a place today that writing that brings me close to tears). The worst part of all of this is that I was still at my dream school, I still had all of my friends (once again they are amazing), I still got fuzzy feelings every time I saw the mountains. And to add to all that I have a supportive loving family, and way too many gifts to complain. Basically the life I was running from was in no way a shitty one.
Now there is another subtle runaway tactic I have used all my life. One that is extremely important to my story, and I think one many of you have struggled with. I always run away from God. But, as a homeschool kid, raised Christian, being a Christian is the most comfortable thing for me. So I have always ran away from God with Him. You see I love God, and I always have. But I have always lacked that ‘put your head down’ work ethic. So every time faith has gotten hard I run to an external motivation that builds my faith back up. In junior high I waited for every summer to roll around for my one week at Bible camp to build me back up. In high school it was youth conferences. After that it was working at Bible camp and going to a Bible school. And when I failed college, I freaked out, and filled out a form that sent me all the way to Brisbane Australia with Youth With a Mission to “fix my faith”. But I think God was fed up with my games…
I finally hit a wall, I was fed up with leaning on external things. Regardless of my intentions to run away to YWAM, I made many commitments before I left for Australia. I promised myself I would become disciplined, and that I would be open to God. I was sick of running. I decided deep down that this was ‘make it or break it’ and I would either make my relationship deeply personal, or nonexistent. I was done with outside Christian-y things being what I put my hope in. Today I can tell you that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me, who speaks to me, who is proud of me, who desires me, a perfect father, a loving father, my Father.
Guys, God is so good. He is so gentle (His people are the condemning abrasive ones). He never ever forced me into anything, but over this last season I was challenged in so many ways, ways that I had no choice but to turn to God. I encourage everyone to put the necessary steps into their life to choose God purely on their own motivation and no one else. If there was someone you loved around all your friends but couldn’t even be alone with them would you marry them? How much more should that apply to our God? If you can’t be alone with someone what kind of intimacy do you have? Take it from me, someone who is now head over heals in love with his God, it is so worth it. So worth it. Let’s all stop running away from God with Him, but instead run into God with Him.