“Running from my demons”

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There’s a saying that pops up in literature sometimes that makes me laugh. “Running from my demons,” as if the whole world were filled with sprinters and I am the only turtle who knows perfectly well I can’t out run much of anything. Even at the height of good health and fitness, I would run a long relay or go throw discus or something. I am not a sprinter, I could not outrun a one legged demon with a bad hangover.

Also, there are so many of them! I mean, trying to outrun demons is like being chased by an angry mob of villagers carrying torches and pitchforks. I envy people who only have one or two to outrun, I have an entire village. I think they network too, hold meetings, organize, and figure out how to gang upon me. Hey, just because I am paranoid does not mean they really aren’t out to get me.

Running presents the additional problem of, what do you do once you’ve managed to lose them? I mean, obviously now you have to hide, perhaps change your name and identity, because eventually they’re going to find you. They are resourceful, they learn from us, they will adapt and get better at catching you. There’s a saying I like, “I tried to drown my demons but they learned how to swim.” They’re just progressive that way. It’s a rotten deal, very unfair, but it is what it is..

You can run, but you just can’t hide forever. I am well aware of this. Also, I can be a bit lazy. Someone yells “run,” my first thought is usually going to be “why?” Soon followed by 45 minutes of analyzing which option is going to cost me the least amount of energy, fight or flight? I’ve been surprised a few times, but fighting is often a better option. It’s faster and helps one avoid all this running.

There is also the unspoken elephant in the room, like who exactly do you suppose you are running from?  As if our demons do not run with us? Aren’t we actually just giving them a piggy back ride to where ever we think we’re going? Even worse than trying to run, is trying to run while you’re carrying a bunch of baggage.

I empathize here deeply, I am by nature somewhat avoidant, I would prefer to just read a good book and be left alone, but that mob of angry villagers can be kind of persistent, like flies hovering around an open wound. There’s an old trick I learned in my days of running, of play chasing boys mostly, and of being chased. If someone is faster than you, right on your heels, drop to your knees suddenly. Curl up into a little fetal ball right in front of them. Their own momentum will cause them to trip over you and they’ll go sailing head first into the dirt. It’s quite satisfying to watch and will give you time to get away. Sing some Queen if you like, Another one bites the dust….

Good grief,  it’s a miracle one of those boys grew up and even thought to marry me. My favorite form of entertainment was once making boys eat dirt. Yikes….

I jest a bit here, but what’s a girl to do who cannot sprint and who is being chased by a mob of angry villagers? You drop to your knees, you surrender all, and you avail yourself of His protection, His mercy, His grace! You plea for a rescue, for a Redeemer, for a White Knight who will not only fight those demons for you, He’ll heal what is broken within you, He’ll hand you beauty for ashes, and sometimes He’ll even send a battalion of angels to look after you.

Running is a lot of hard work, very painful, and eventually they’ll just catch up to you anyway. Surrendering yourself to Jesus Christ and placing yourself in His loving hands is really a much better way to go about it. If you are going to put forth the effort to run, at least run towards Him. His arms are always open.

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