Running From the Neighbor

Yes, that’s right.  My neighborhood had an exhibitionist.  We found out because of my afternoon skate-boarding adventure.  Those of you who read My Morning Cup will not be surprised to hear of this experience. .. it sort of goes with the flow.

As a preteen, or perhaps young teen (it was a long time ago; can’t remember my age at the time) I wanted to learn to skateboard.   Back then, the devices used were called “turfboards” and most were handmade. I persuaded my dad to make me one.  He took a plank of wood (which I painted and decorated), and then he lovingly attached skate wheels to the bottom of the board.  Voila!- my wonderful turfboard. I discovered that the best place to practice was in our neighbor’s driveway, across from the pond that was in our back yard.  So, one afternoon I took my new board and practiced my “moves” over and over again.  As I was walking back up my neighbor’s driveway and facing the house across the street a man was standing outstretched in front of the picture window – in all his glory (or lack thereof).  I had 3 sisters.  This was a man.  This view scared the bejeebies out of me (def.  bejeebies –  emotions laying inside of you that when activated  cause“freak-out”)

I did not “stop to pass go”.  I ran, ran and ran.  I told my mother what I’d just witnessed, and she then reported it to the police.  I have no idea what happened after that.  I just know I never practiced in that driveway again, or walked down that street alone.

I’ve been thinking about doing some running and remembered this experience where I ran to purposely to get away from something!  Yesterday I did some running in order to get to get to the bank before it closed as I had parked on the complete opposite side of the mall from the bank.  I decided to read some scriptures about  “running”.   Here are a few that strengthen and challenge me about  running “toward” and running “from”:

    Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 1 Cor. 9:24

    Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.  No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Cor. 9:26-27

    Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1

    Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.  2 Tim. 2:22

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  James 4:7

 I ran hard to get away from the exhibitionist. Ask yourself as I ask myself:  How hard do I run from things that aren’t good for me or that will distance me from God?

I ran hard to get to the bank before it closed.  Ask yourself as I ask myself:  How eagerly and purposefully will I run toward God and His will for my life today?

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About Jeanie Shaw

After retiring from forty-five years in full-time ministry, Jeanie Shaw went back to school to earn her master’s and doctorate in spiritual formation and discipleship. She also serves as a certified Christian life coach who loves helping people discover the joy, peace, and purpose that come from finding and following God’s plan for their lives. She has taught classes and workshops all over the world and has written numerous books. She has four grown children, eight grandchildren, and a golden retriever who thinks he is human. When she is not reading, writing, coaching, teaching, or enjoying her family she might be found walking along rivers, learning new lessons about life.

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