I admire people who run. I really admire people who want to run, who even like to run. Me? I prefer walking. The slower pace doesn’t jar my joints, doesn’t make my heart do funny flip-flops and doesn’t turn me into a sweaty mess. It also doesn’t burn off the caramel pecan roll. But I do some of my best thinking when I’m out on a walk. I’m sure running would restrict those profound thoughts. Pretty sure.
In preparation for this fall’s Bible study on Jonah, I’ve been thinking a lot about running. When Jonah heard a word from the Lord that told him to go to Nineveh, Jonah ran. The opposite direction. Jonah hightailed it out of town and hitched a ride on the first boat leaving for the end of the earth. Did he really think he could out-run God?
A few weeks ago, PB preached on Philip and the Ethiopian from Acts 8. It provided a nice contrast to Jonah’s rebellious response to God’s command. When God told Philip to go, he ran. In the right direction. He was even able to keep pace with a chariot and still have enough breath to explain the gospel to the prince riding in it.
“The Word of the Lord came to Jonah” (Jonah 1:1) and he ran away.
Do we, like Jonah, think we can avoid God by running? A clear, concise directive from heaven is what most of us long for. But what if God tells us something we don’t want to hear. Then what?
I come to the Word of the Lord every morning. Yes, I come stumbling and fumbling my way to the chair, rubbing sleep out of my eyes. On the days I hear Him say “Go”, I want to be more like Philip than Jonah and run the right direction.
Or at least walk at a good clip.
“But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
they walk and don’t lag behind.”