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FAITH FOR TODAY: 'We'll all run away'

By Doug Pilsworth

As we approach this long weekend, commemorating Queen Victoria’s birthday, I remember the little childhood chant we used to say: “The 24th of May is the Queen’s birthday.  If we don’t get a holiday, we’ll all run away.”
Many today wonder who in the world was Queen Victoria? She was the Queen of England before our independence as a country. For the rest of her history, Google it.
As a child, chanting my way to a day off school, I always wondered where I was running to, if there was no holiday? We always got the holiday, so I never pursued the idea. And what was so special about the birthday of the Queen of England? I never got the day off when my birthday came around!
But, my childhood wonder has a good thought for today. What are we running from and where are we running to?
Life is a great deal more difficult than it was when we were children celebrating the Queen’s birthday. More things frighten our minds and souls, today. It’s a different world. Back when I was young, you never heard of drugs or school shootings or the extreme flooding and famines that we face today. It seemed a simpler time. We played outside without fear of being kidnapped and our days were filled with only our imagination. We made our own fun. But, today is vastly different. More people are fraught with what if’s, leading to fearfulness. Despite getting the day off on Monday, are there things you are running away from? 
The Bible is filled with stories of people running away for their lives. David runs away from Saul. In 1 Samuel 1, chapters 21-31 we get that story. Fear of death is the reason for David fleeing King Saul. The Lord has anointed David king and Saul is out for revenge. The disciples run away from their association with Jesus after Jesus is arrested. Even after his resurrection, they run back to their fishing of fish, not people.
What are we running away from today? There is the fear of losing your home to floods or your family to famine. There is the fear of our government’s egoism that may lead us back to war. There is the fear of the loss of jobs and of health. These are all valid and true reasons for finding us in the situations we're in today.
For too many of us, our running away doesn’t really put any distance between us and our problem. It seems as though we are just spinning our tires. There is no escape. The Bible stories do give us a way to freedom. They put before us a destination that will alleviate our angst. When we find ourselves at the end of our ropes, Jesus opens his arms and says to us: “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Fall into the arms of Jesus and he will show you a new way of life. He will open us up to what we were made to be – lovers.  When we reach out and love one another, our whole focus changes and the world begins to change, as well. We will see each other as people, not as what we label them. We are all children of God and God promises us a Saviour.
When you feel like running away, rest your head upon the chest of Jesus and hear the very heartbeat of heaven. All are precious in God’s eyes. Run to Jesus and rest in him. Peace. God bless you all.


Doug Pilsworth is a retired United Church minister.

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