In Others’ Words: Running

My husband Rob often says that you should never run from something, but rather you should always be running to something.

There’s wisdom in that exhortation.

And yet, the reality is, there are times that the best thing I could do was run as fast as I could away from something.

Like the time I ran from the temptation of a wrong relationship.

Or the times I ran from the “I don’t care how much this hurts me, I’m going to do it anyway” version of myself.

Or the time I said, “There’s always hell to pay,” and Wise Guy asked, “How long are you going to keep paying?” — and I ran from a relational debt I didn’t owe.

Then there are all the things I ran to … and wish I had run to faster.

Like the wide open spaces of God’s grace (instead of the “isn’t this comfortable” confinement of Law).

And the blessed relief of forgiveness — both given and received.

And the long-awaited season of self-acceptance. Yeah, it took me too long to like myself.

The whys of the running froms and the running tos?

That’s easy. It all boils down to lies versus truth … and which one I embraced.


In Your Words: When you join the conversation, the reason for this blog is accomplished. So, where are you running from, and to, and why?

Jennifer Z. Major won the copy of the book My One Word from last Friday’s giveaway! Jennifer, please email me at [email protected]!

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  1. January 14, 2013, 4:55 am   /  Reply

    Drops jaw.
    I WON??
    Awww, COOL!!
    Thanks Beth!!

    • Beth Vogt
      January 14, 2013, 8:41 am   /  Reply

      You sure did!

  2. January 14, 2013, 5:10 am   /  Reply

    I’m running from thinking every blessed thing is about me! Running to, I hope, being more generous with my time and self. Why? It’s just SO easy for me to get caught up in my goals, my plans for the day, my desires…that I don’t even see what’s happening around me. And yeah, we all have times when we just have to focus because we’re under tight deadlines or whatever. But the majority of the time, there is always time in my day to listen when a coworker needs to talk, to take the time to write an encouraging email to someone, etc.

    • Beth Vogt
      January 14, 2013, 8:42 am   /  Reply

      A most excellent finish line, Melissa!

  3. January 14, 2013, 5:46 am   /  Reply

    “And the long-awaited season of self-acceptance. Yeah, it took me too long to like myself.”

    WHY do we do this to ourselves??? I couldn’t look in the mirror and like what I saw til I was in my 40’s. Pathetic, eh? Even though my husband tells me at least 4 or 5 times a day and then about 10 times at bed time, that he loves me. That I am his ‘perfect woman’. I think I know he and I are ‘good’.
    But it’s that outside world influence, isn’t it? A few years ago I stopped buying magazines, other than the occasional holiday recipe issue of Good Housekeeping. I was sick of looking at airbrushed starlets with 16 inch waists and feeling like a lumbering rhino at the ballet.
    To quote Eowyn when Creepy Guy was hitting on her in The Two Towers, “your words are poison”.
    When God says “you are fearfully and wonderfully made”, why do we think so poorly of ourselves? Because the enemy knows our weaknesses and whispers poison into the tender places and brings down the King’s soldiers from the inside.

    I run from the old Jennifer, toward the promises that God wrote for me, with arms wide open and nails in loving hands.

    • Jeanne T
      January 14, 2013, 7:03 am   /  Reply

      Jennifer, it took me until I was in my 40’s to truly feel comfortable with who I am, too. I think it might just be part of that maturing thing. I had a counselor friend say the same thing to me when she was in her forties and I was in my 30’s.

      • Beth Vogt
        January 14, 2013, 8:43 am   /  Reply

        Oh, Jennifer,
        Love the Eowyn analogy … the whole “your words are poison” reminder. Sometimes we take the poison others offer us all too freely.

  4. January 14, 2013, 6:22 am   /  Reply

    You’re a master at becoming profound in very few words, like the 0-120 start-up time of a sleek amazing European racing car that most of us can’t afford but have just amazingly been given. I hear the engine running . . . it’s going to be a great week!

    • Beth Vogt
      January 14, 2013, 8:44 am   /  Reply

      Oh, Dee, thank you for blessing me with your words.

  5. January 14, 2013, 6:26 am   /  Reply

    Running to: closer fellowship with God
    Running from: being the know-it-all
    There was a cartoon on Fb last week: Lucy and Charlie Brown were talking, or rather Lucy was talking. “It’d be a better world if everyone would listen to me…” Saw myself.

    • Beth Vogt
      January 14, 2013, 8:44 am   /  Reply

      Funny, isn’t it, Pat, that I don’t see you that way at all.
      Hhhhmmm …

  6. January 14, 2013, 6:58 am   /  Reply

    So wise!
    Running from: the expectations of others.
    Running to: God’s open arms, and His strength to accomplish His will through me.

    • Jeanne T
      January 14, 2013, 7:02 am   /  Reply

      I like yours, Edie!

      • Beth Vogt
        January 14, 2013, 8:44 am   /  Reply

        Ooooh … I like Edie’s too!

  7. Jeanne T
    January 14, 2013, 7:02 am   /  Reply

    Great post, Beth. You’re right, there is a time to run away from something–usually those lies we pick up when we are kids. Let’s see, this year, I am working on running from holding to an inaccurate perspective about life and how I perceive it and running to seeing circumstances and myself through God’s eyes.

    • Beth Vogt
      January 14, 2013, 8:45 am   /  Reply

      I’ll pace you, Jeanne. I’ll pace you.

  8. January 14, 2013, 7:07 am   /  Reply

    Love this quote, even though I don’t like running (even though I keep signing up for 5Ks because they’re motivation to lose weight, haha).

    I guess I’m running from trusting myself. I too often forget God’s not only in the mix…He’s the DJ. 😉 Ha. And so I’m running toward Him, remembering that He finishes what He starts.

    • Beth Vogt
      January 14, 2013, 8:46 am   /  Reply

      I’m learning with you, there’s always going to be a musical analogy somewhere nearby, isn’t there?
      I like that about you.
      (And I don’t like running, either.)

      • January 14, 2013, 7:52 pm   /  Reply

        With me, you just can’t stop the beat, Beth. 😉

  9. January 14, 2013, 7:36 am   /  Reply

    Beth, this is wise and beautiful and touching.

    I have a long list of things I’ve run from and a few I’ve run to, but at the moment, I can’t answer the questions. I’m going to spend time this week figuring out where I am at this stage in my life.

    Thank you.

    • Beth Vogt
      January 14, 2013, 8:47 am   /  Reply

      Kim … just let me know what you think about, okay?

  10. Loree Huebner
    January 14, 2013, 8:14 am   /  Reply

    Every once in awhile, I still run from the negativity and doubt of my past.

    • Beth Vogt
      January 14, 2013, 8:48 am   /  Reply

      Oh, me too, Loree. Me too.

  11. January 14, 2013, 8:35 am   /  Reply

    Loved Melissa’s first sentence!

    Running to truth.

    • Beth Vogt
      January 14, 2013, 8:48 am   /  Reply

      Right there with you, Wendy.

  12. January 14, 2013, 10:27 am   /  Reply

    Running from: the lies the media would have us believe in this “all about me” world (…the “if it feels o.k., it must be o.k. mentality).

    Running to (and digging my feet in): God’s promises through His word.

    Thanks, Beth, for the transparency. 🙂

    • Beth Vogt
      January 14, 2013, 12:49 pm   /  Reply

      Cynthia —
      Not surprised at all that you are heading in the right direction.

  13. January 14, 2013, 10:59 am   /  Reply

    Beth, what a beautiful word picture you paint, “the wide open spaces of God’s grace.” I think I’ll just meditate on that the rest of the day. Peace like a river…

  14. Beth Vogt
    January 14, 2013, 12:51 pm   /  Reply

    I am paraphrasing a passage in Romans 5:1-5 (The Message): “By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.”

    I consider this an anchor verse in my life.

  15. January 14, 2013, 1:46 pm   /  Reply

    I love this analogy of running to and from things. Probably because I’m one of those weirdo’s who enjoys running. The basic answers lie in running from our past with it’s lies as we run to truth and hope. While its important to know the beginning point and the destination, shouldn’t we also remember to learn during the running journey? Perhaps that’s a topic for another blog post.

    • Beth Vogt
      January 14, 2013, 3:40 pm   /  Reply

      Wonderful insight, Wade — and a future blog post, for sure!

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