I can feel it in my bones. It comes in waves. It appears in many forms. I notice it when the Creator is trying to help me learn a life-lesson that I’m resisting. I’d rather run, run, run from myself and God.
Sometimes, I run like Chicken Little, thinking it’s my job to keep the sky from falling. Other times, I get stuck over-intellectualizing, pontificating about the most recent book I’ve read or half-read, trying to convince myself and others I’ve discovered the key to life.
Sometimes, I bounce away on my Tigger tail—busy, busy, busy doing something, something, something to keep myself preoccupied.
I run from God when I trap myself with whirling thoughts in my mind. When I cover the ears of my heart and like a small child announce, “I am not listening to you, God,” or hide my face in shame hoping the Creator can’t see me.
The mindless chatter, the you can’t see me and I can’t hear you rants block out the Creator’s voice of love—the voice I hear but then don’t, or don’t want to. The voice that tells me, “Don’t believe the lies others try to project on you.”
I run from God when I act like Pigpen in my Charlie Brown world. I create a dust cloud of emotions and inner chaos that whirls within me, obscuring God’s loving presence.
I run from God when I act like a crazed dog, busy chasing my tail and every tantalizing smell that wafts past my nose, pursuing the latest trend or whatever sparkles, whatever glitters.
And sometimes I run from God when I put on my holier-than-thou cloak, when I let my mind-made self become my ruler, expecting everyone, including the Creator, to bow to me on bended knee.
When I run from God, I don’t hear the Creator saying, “Come, sit with me. Let’s talk.” I’m not listening to my heart. I run faster, chasing the wind and the world, hoping the One who loves me won’t find me, but knowing and hoping down deep he still will.
Why do I run from God? I wonder. Why won’t I sip coffee with the Creator and listen to the voice of love in my heart that tells me, “I’m here to guide you. I’ll never abandon you.”
Perhaps I run because I’m afraid God might tell me I’m loved—as I am, where I am—words that might become a balm for my world-weary heart; words that might stop me from running when I let the Creator love, guide, and complete me.
When I admit I’m afraid to let you love me, God, I stop running from you. I realize you care for me with Divine Compassion and Unconditional Love as you do for all whom you’ve created.
I accept that you’re my Best Friend. I am freed to pour out my fears and anxieties to you. I let you walk alongside me on this healing path of life. I accept myself because I see myself through your eyes of love.
Help me, God, to notice when I am running from you. Help me stop and let you find me when I get lost in myself and in the world.
Let me, let you love me—just because you do.
Open my heart Creator-God. Give me the grace to run towards you.
I never got that kiss with Teresa. But as I reflect on that long-ago night, I realize Sister Carmella shared two pieces of wisdom I’ll never forget: to leave room for Jesus and the healing power of a smile.
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