You Don’t Have to Run Away

Everywhere that you turn
Somehow every face is another bridge that you burn
So you fade, you can’t stay
If you can find another life in another place
And hope the world forgets your name
But I can’t, no I won’t, forget you

I think there’s a bit of fantasy in every kid where they want to run away from home and experience the world. It comes in one of two ways:

  1. You’re ticked at your parents, and you want to run away as a sign of disapproval with the way things are going.
  2. You want to explore the world, and your home life is holding you back from the destiny you were destined for.

I remember one time when I tried to run away. I didn’t even get to the end of the driveway. I was just mad and running out of the house with no shoes on and claiming I was gone was my way to handle the problem that was going on. I think for a long time that was how I dealt with problems: running from them.

There’s a couple songs that I really like that deal with running away. And I think they both teach different things.

Runaway | The Afters | Light Up the Sky | 2010

The song is written from the perspective of a person who gets a phone call in the middle of the night from a friend who wanted to run away from their problems. Lead singer Josh Havens shares the inspiration for the song in a video linked here.

The idea behind the song is that, if you want to run away, remember that God really does love you and cares for you. Even if it seems like the world doesn’t care, God does. The God who is love will catch you when you fall:

You think you lost it all
And there’s nothing left of you
There’s nowhere you can fall
But love will catch you

I’ve been in this place many times. It’s a lonely place to be. You’re trying to find relief from something, and the easiest option seems to be running away from your problems.

The easy lesson here would be “don’t run away.” It’s not always that simple. In situations like that, what is required is someone who will listen, someone who will care, someone who will reflect the love that God has for us. But it does also take some bravery and gumption to be able to share what’s going wrong, what’s on your mind.

It’s not an easy process. And running away is the easiest option. But I’ve found that, when I don’t run away, when I do share, it’s freeing.

Runaway | Alex Faith feat. Andy Mineo | ATLast | 2013

Andy Mineo’s verse in this song is tight. Probably one of my favorites. He raps about having a hard time picking a girl to settle down with, not being able to commit:

I done found myself in the same position
Trying to pick a dame, but I can’t, playing games
Entertain different names, we exchanging digits
Uh, but you know what I’m thinking
I’ve been overthinking this whole commitment thing
Dang I wish I didn’t know the difference
Between a broken heart and one sewn with stitches

This is another way in which I tend to want to run away. I’m afraid to commit to things because I’m afraid it’s the “wrong thing” or I’m making the “wrong decision.” Basically, I’m afraid to take risks. It’s a fear thing. It’s taking chances. And that’s what Andy says in the hook:

You can stay here, runaway
Flee from town, runaway
You can hold on, runaway
Stand your ground, runaway
If you don’t take your chances there’s no way you’ll ever know
If you don’t take your chances there’s no way you’ll ever know

You can either take the risk or you can run away. And Andy’s repeated line at the end of the hook – “If you don’t take your chances, there’s no way you’ll ever know.”

So often I find myself scared to take chances. But if I don’t take that chance, if I don’t step out in faith, if I don’t take that risk, I will never know. That’s why I love Alex’s line in the first verse: “So I’m pushing back and I believe the promise that the Lord always gonna hold me down.”

We can take risks and not have to run away because, if we’re in Christ, God’s got us. Even if we make a mistake, we’re forgiven and loved by the God who created everything. That’s the ultimate mattress factory we can fall into.

You don’t have to run away. I don’t have to run away. Take the leap. Take the jump. God’s got you.

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