Last week I deleted an email I sent this time last year inquiring about a job as a Laundromat attendant. I should have saved it because it was a humble reminder. Not because I was applying for a job at a Laundromat; instead, I was humbled because of the realization of how I got here. God calls some people out of a successful career and into ministry, and they talk about it like they sacrificed a lot for Him. They run the risk when sharing that testimony of failing to remember how much more He sacrificed for them and that there sacrifice pales 100% of the time in comparison. With me, God called me away from the burden of service to Him for a season to rest in an atmosphere where I was too busy working to consider trying to earn His approval.
And thank God He did. 6 months ago I moved to Pennsylvania thinking one way, with certain expectations. Ultimately I made the decision to go quickly because I felt like it was God’s leading and I knew I needed to move on. There is one tricky thing about moving on though that some people don’t face and usually it catches up with them. Moving on and running away outwardly look the same yet are inwardly worlds apart. You can move on and still be at peace in your heart, yet in running away you can only try to escape fears and problems.
I realize my initial onward motion had a mixture of both peace and escape until I realized the people I had problems with didn’t easily leave my life, especially the thought of them and the perception of wrong they had done and I had done them. In fact the reminders of what one is running from can plague a person more as they run further away distancing themselves from reconciliation which is ultimately what our hearts yearn for. So if I could summarize running away and moving on in one sentence each it would go like this:
Running away is when you desire to be “done with” or escape from something usually rooted internally yet you remain unsettled until you allow God to deal with the problem within you.
Moving on is when you desire for reconciliation and to be at peace with those around you in spite of persistent problems, circumstances beyond control and even if things don’t change, you can go wherever and remain hopeful for restored relationships and want the best for those who hurt you and those you’ve hurt.
Lastly, moving on always seems to happen at a slower pace than running away. When you “move on” your steps are methodical. You tread softer so as not to hurt anyone or face a familiar wound. You’re more careful and hesitant about making the same mistakes but it doesn’t mean you don’t. Whenever I have tried to run away I end up being desperate to find rest from what I’m running from but end up being reckless, making hastier decisions, typically hurting myself more at the expense of avoiding hurting or experiencing hurt from others. Notice, running away keeps you wounded. Maybe you’ve noticed this. I’d love to hear what you think today. A good reminder is that God directs our steps which helps us move on without looking back.