Living On The Run: When the Process for Purpose Isn't Quite What You Signed Up For
Have you ever wanted to just pick up and leave? Leave that job, leave that academic program, leave that church, leave that organization? Because while everything was fine and dandy in the beginning, it's starting to require a level of energy you weren't prepared to give. You're stressed, you're aggravated, and you toss and turn at night over the details of your circumstance at your respective institution. So much that you've begun to consider the idea of walking away from it all. After all, this isn't what you signed up for. You didn't sign up to be stressed out, you didn't sign up to be talked about, and you didn't sign up for any of the emotions that are characterizing your experience. And it's not always your obligation to the entity that takes a toll on you, it's dealing with the people. And in an era where we prioritize our happiness and peace above all else, the moment those things are threatened we tend to re-evaluate life as we know it. And we make emotional decisions instead of Spirit-led decisions. You hate your job? Quit. Your subordinates acting up? Resign. They talking about you? Leave the church. Class is hard? Change your major. After all, these experiences are affecting your quality of life. And we're supposed to do what makes us HAPPY. And we should cut out anything that hinders our happiness, because life is too short to voluntarily subject ourselves to such circumstances.
So, if it stings, walk away. If it aches, walk away. If it burns, walk away. If it's overwhelming, walk away. If it's overbearing, walk away. If it's heavy, walk away. If it's not what you signed up for, walk away.
How easy would it be to just walk away? To rid yourself of the things weighing you down and, for the most part, lead a stress-free life. If it's bothering you, let go, give in, throw in the towel--and be free, right?
Wrong. There's a thin line between protecting your peace and stunting your stamina. And I know it seems so enticing at first; the idea of making a run for it to a place where your current struggles don't exist. Running to a new a job, a new city, a new church, a new relationship....away from everything that troubled you in your former life. Away from opinions, away from rumors, away from discomfort, away from obligations, away from the challenge, away from the sacrifice, away from the war zone. What a relief it would be to NOT have to deal. So why deal at all? You could just walk away.
Yes, you could walk away. You could drop everything you're doing and adopt a lifestyle that's more comfortable and convenient for you. But if you walk away from this, whatever your "this" is, you will be walking away for your entire life. Starting, but never finishing. Playing the game, but never getting past half time. Getting in the ring, but never throwing a punch. And baby you can run, but you can't hide. Because no matter how many times you walk away from one struggle, another will always find you in the next phase of life! There is no escape.
If you run because they don't like you, you'll be running your whole life.
If you run because they mistreated you, you'll be running your whole life.
If you run because they hurt your feelings, you'll be running your whole life.
If you run because they talked about you, you'll be running your whole life.
If you run because they don't support you, you'll be running your whole life.
If you run because you're uncomfortable, you'll be running your whole life.
If you run because you're "not happy", you'll be running your whole life.
And happiness should never dictate life-altering decisions, because happiness is not a fruit of the Spirit. And as long as you are led by your emotions, you will always be unstable...shifting here, there, and everywhere instead of being rooted in the word of God. Running, chasing the wind, walking by sight in every area of life.
Running is a form of unbelief. If God promised in His word that He would never put more on us than we could bear, who are we to define what we "can't take"? Who are we to decide when something is "too much"? Is our judgment better than God's? Are our thoughts higher than His? Oh, ye of little faith! For whatever reason, we allow ourselves to believe that the only way to gain relief is to walk away from the thing that ails us. But growth requires pain; that's what growing pains are all about. And it's a slap in God's face to seek relief by walking away, instead of the relief that comes from walking with Him. The Holy Spirit is THEE comforter, but you don't trust that that's enough to weather the storm without losing your mind.
But the reason you feel so powerless and defeated is because you keep relying on your own strength. Well, love, you're right---you are NOT strong enough to take this. You aren't strong enough to forgive, you aren't strong enough to love your enemies, you aren't strong enough to turn the other cheek, you aren't strong enough to do all the work and watch your co-worker get all of the credit. You're not strong enough to continue to be overlooked for the promotion you know you deserve. You aren't strong enough to keep losing sleep so you have time to study after work. YOU aren't strong enough, but the Holy Spirit within you IS. TAP IN, SIS. TAP IN, BRO. That's what He's there for.
"Three times I asked the Lord to take it away from me. But he said, 'My grace is sufficient for you; my power is made perfect in your weakness'....that is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions,in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
2 Corinthians 8:10
If you run from the uncomfortable, you will be running your whole life. And you'll move from one thing to the next, but you'll never go to the next level. Your calling comes with a price. And if you are heeding a great call, do not be surprised by great tests, great opposition, great discomfort, and great attacks of the enemy. It comes with the territory. It's not always exciting, it's not always pleasant, and it's not always a smooth sail. But you have already been anointed to win this fight. So cry, kick, and scream the whole way through, but you DON'T GET to walk away. You don't get to run from the process. Lives are depending on the completion of your process, and if you don't become who you need to be, it will impact the becoming of countless others. And as long as you walk away, you will never learn the art of running on and seeing what the end is going to be. I know you're weary, I know you're frustrated, I know you're aggravated, so if you can't run then walk, and if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever it takes, KEEP GOING. You are not in this alone.
"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you."
Look up and,