What are you running from? Where are you running to? This short story will have you longing for the freedom of wide open fields.
Drawn from the new gift book Reflect with Sheridan, this is the first in a five-part video series exploring the book’s nine themes: joy, wonder, meaning, belonging, compassion, callings, seasons, change and hope.
Running to the Safe Place
There are so many things to love about my dog Rupert: his silky black fur, the way he greets us each morning wriggling with excitement, how he chews leaves, and runs off with my socks. But when Rupert was a puppy we faced one major battle with him – walks. Taking him to the park meant pulling him out of the door and literally dragging him up the footpath. We had the whole world to show him, but he was too afraid to see it.
One day, I finally got him to the park and let him off his leash as a reward. Naive. He gave me a mischievous look, took his collar in his mouth, then sprinted around the corner. By the time I caught up he’d made it all the way home – to his place of safety.
It reminds me of the time I got talking to a man sitting next to me on a plane. As we started taxiing the man apologised to me. He said, “I’m going to get drunk on this flight.” I said, “It sounds like you don’t want to.” He said, “I don’t, but I always run back to the wine.”
He did as he said, downing three bottles of red wine during the flight, and the saddest part was watching his wife greet him with a big smile on landing, then smelling his breath, then pushing him away. Drink had become his place of safety, but it was no safe place at all.
Wide Open Fields
One of the first things Jesus said when he came on the scene was, “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent!” “Repent” just means “to turn around”. In effect he was saying, “Don’t run back to the safe places. Don’t be ruled by your fears or addictions. You can be ruled by God himself, who will lead you to new places of life and freedom.”
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Well, things progressed with Rupert. I took him back to the park a few days later and let him off his leash. He didn’t run home this time, but followed me into a wide open field. And there he ran and barked and wriggled with excitement.
Get this and 69 other stories on joy, compassion, wonder, callings and more in Reflect with Sheridan, my new gift book.
Article supplied with thanks to Sheridan Voysey, author and broadcaster on faith and spirituality. His latest book is called Reflect with Sheridan.