I find myself retreating on occasion. Life overwhelms, my inner strength seems to disappear, and simply conundrums turn into unsolvable wicked problems. I’m not alone. It seems the angst of growing up passes on to generation after generation. The traumas of getting old and dealing with those even older is universal. Even the pressure of dealing with the day to day hassles, rumors, and life uncertainties chips away at the amour we wear. In times like this I find myself retreating. The only question is my destination.
As I watch people of all generations and backgrounds, I find my response is close to the norm. The difference is not in the response – taking a step back, running, or hiding is the alternative of choice for many. What varies is the destination chosen. There is an incredible variety in the places where we seek refuge.
Ironically many struggle with their choices, seemingly ignoring any and all sources of help in the process. The fact that generations before us have made the same mistake doesn’t seem to teach us anything. Even the obvious isn’t. Imagine “going off to Egypt without so much as asking me [God], running off to Pharaoh for protection, expecting to hide out in Egypt. Well, some protection Pharaoh will be! Some hideout, Egypt! They look big and important, true, with officials strategically established in Zoan in the north and Hanes in the south, but there's nothing to them. Anyone stupid enough to trust them will end up looking stupid—all show, no substance, an embarrassing farce.” (Isaiah 30.2-5)
There’s an alternative. We, you, me, and every human being, have a Spirit in our lives willing to help guide, nurture, and sustain. The challenges will continue to be part of our lives. So with the Spirit of God. Divinity will guide, God is a refuge. We are priceless children of God. We have a place where we are always accepted. We have a home, community, where we can always retreat.
A new day is here. Our home is ready. It’s time to face the world.
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