…But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish.
I will never forget the night that my parent’s car got stolen from a friend’s house. I was at a party and it was past my curfew. I walked out to the curb to get in the car. But to my horror, all I saw was an empty section of street where the car had been. I panicked!
My friend Lisa told me to call my parents to have them come pick me up. I was too scared to let them know that somehow I had let the car be stolen. Lisa kept insisting that I call my parents. And I kept getting more and more freaked out about the car being stolen.
So, I did what any crazy scared teenager would do, I ran away to the beach with a group of my friends.
I knew that Lisa was right, I needed to call my parents. However, I wanted to avoid that conflict at all costs. I went with the whole “out of sight, out of mind” idea by running away. Of course, all that really did was postpone the inevitable.
That stolen car incident was a foreshadowing of how I would cope with my emotional conflicts. I spent a good portion of my life engaged in emotional running away. I hated emotions. I did everything I could to avoid emotional conflict or feeling any kind of emotions. Being numb was my preferred state of being in my young adult years.
I spent a lot of money on drugs and alcohol to run away from my emotions. I spent a lot of time going from one relationship to the next to run away from my emotions. And I spent a lot of energy trying to find ways to run away from my emotions. Running away never set me free from my emotions it only made things worse.
The ironic thing about trying to run away from emotions is that you eventually run smack dab into an emotional firestorm. When this happens running away is no longer an option. Unless, you deal with the raging emotions you will be consumed by the very emotions you were trying to avoid.
Avoidance never solves any issue. In fact, it only prolongs the pain of your issue. Jonah’s avoidance forced him into a storm, to be swallowed by a large fish, and to be thrown up. And he still had to do what God asked him to do. Imagine if Jonah had simply gone to Nineveh to preach the message God had asked him to preach. He would have saved himself a lot time and not had to suffer through the consequences of his avoidance.
If you or a loved one are in the midst of emotional running away, I encourage you to come to the Glennon House for an individual prayer appointment. Let our trained Prayer Ministers help you stop running so that you can receive the healing God wants to do in you.
FYI: The “stolen car” was not stolen at all. My dad had taken it back to our house after I missed my curfew. If I had called my parents, I would have known that the car wasn’t stolen. I would have probably been grounded for only one week instead of two months. My running away to avoid telling my parents the car was stolen hadn’t even been necessary!