The other night my daughter showed me a social media meme of a computer screenshot with a dialogue box and the words “Escape is not allowed at this point.”
I scoffed and then whined, “That’s exactly how I feel!”
Truth be told, I feel that way a lot. I mean, somedays I just want to claw my way out of my own skin…shed this body that holds me prisoner. But blinking in my mind’s eye is this annoying little neon reminder “Escape not allowed at this point.”
For the last six or seven weeks, I’ve been experiencing an as of yet unexplained bout of relentless heart palpitations…what the doc calls a “benign” (though, I say, hardly normal) irregular heartbeat. If you’re wondering what that feels like, imagine having the hiccups all day, every day, for a month and a half. Fun, right? So yeah, it’s driving me crazy! And while I’ve had a bunch of cardio tests, the only current recommendations are some heavy hitting drugs – you know the kind with television ads that show people running through fields of grass, smiling, while the soft spoken, monotone voiceover tells you of certain possible side effects such as dizziness, headache, rash, amnesia, hair loss, fingernail loss, tooth loss, the inability to sleep…or stay awake….and death. (Now tell me, since when is death a “side effect”? If you ask me, there’s nothing “side” about it.)
Anyway, I have a great primary care APRN who has recommended a specialist that can fit me in, oh, sometime next year…ok, I may be exaggerating a little, but after a direct call by my APRN to the specialist, they’ve worked me into their calendar in mid-February. Which, based on recent calculations, is about 138,240 palpitations from now.
“Escape not allowed at this point.”
Friday, I got to talk on the phone with my dear sister-in-law, Anne, (who is currently living the pioneer life in Vermont). At one point, I asked her how she’s doing spiritually. I won’t tell you what she said….that wouldn’t be very friend-like. But I will share what she shared with me and the world on her blog…in a sec…
First, here’s a timeline refresher:
I feel monumentally frustrated.
I talk to Anne and happen to ask her how she’s doing spiritually.
That night my daughter shows me the “escape not allowed” pic.
OK, got that? So then, the next morning I open Anne’s new blog post, which is an update on the pioneer life and her thoughts in response to my question “How are you doing spiritually?” After lots of fun updates she starts to talk spiritual and when I get to her main point, I nearly fall out of bed: she writes “You can’t escape God.”
You can’t escape God.
Now remember, she didn’t write this message specifically for me. It was simply a summation of her recent experiences with God, shared with her friends, family and blog readers. And yet, God spoke directly to me through her. (Love it when He does that.) As a result, I was reminded that while I can’t escape myself, my skin, my problems, I also can’t escape God. And isn’t that the better truth? The best truth?
I don’t so much need to get away from my problems as I need to get into God. In fact, running from my problems is akin to running from Him, because God doesn’t exist apart from reality. He is reality and any attempts on my part to escape reality put me, at least mentally, further away from God.
I believe, and my experience has been, that God manifests himself in my life most powerfully when I live in reality, accepting my circumstances and inviting God to work in and through them rather than looking for a way out. I guess I just needed a reminder. Thanks God…and Anne.
Immanuel, God With Us, doesn’t promise to take away all our earthly trials but he does promise to be with us in them, always, even to the end of the age.
Escape is not allowed at this point.
But peace is.