I have two places I go - to food and to books! And if I can have the two together, I am truly in my "happy place!" Burying my nose in a good novel helps me escape to other places, other problems, other lives rather than my own. For just a little while, and temporarily, for sure, I can avoid facing what I need to face in my own life.
At times, I can be the "master of avoidance." I don't want to clean the stove. I don't want to make that phone call. I don't want to deal with this particular issue. So, I don't!
Or maybe the "problem" is a spiritual one. I feel the nudge of the Holy Spirit and I know the Lord wants to deal with a particular situation, issue or attitude, but I don't feel I'm ready or I'm not willing to be ready. I want to hold on to the hurt, the anger, the disappointment, or whatever it may be. Or I simply don't want to face my life! I don't want to face reality! Have you ever felt like that??
Escaping from reality is not always wrong and going to our "happy place" is sometimes the only thing that keeps us sane at any given time.
I do believe God has provided those times and those places when we can "leave it all behind" and go to a place where we can be refreshed, restored and re-established. The beach is that place for me.
But when this escape becomes our "modus operandi," when this escape keeps us running from God, then we need to re-evaluate! Maybe we need to find something or someONE else to escape to.
"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."
Psalm 91:1, 2
Scripture tells us it's futile to try to escape from a knowing, but always loving God.
"Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, 'Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me, even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you."
The biggest problem for sure is that I can't escape from myself!! Wherever I go, I take me with me! But, I also take God with me! He dwells within me, so there is no escaping Him!! If I won't face what I need to face today, He will still be with me tomorrow and the next day and the next and He will be continually nudging me until I finally relent and deal with what I've been so desperately trying to escape from! You see, I have found the only way to find a real escape is by embracing what I want to run from, not trying to run from it!
The food, the books, the alcohol, the drugs, the TV, the shopping, the music, etc, etc, are only temporary escapes at best. At worst, they end up trapping us in a lifestyle that we can't escape from, no matter how hard we try. And when that happens, our "happy place" is surely no longer happy! There will be no escape without God's help and intervention.
I am writing this blog for myself today. I've been running from feelings and emotions that I haven't wanted to deal with. I've been running from God. But He is relentless and I am so grateful for that. He loves me enough that He will not allow me to stay in that place of escape any longer. This kind of escape is not good for me...not good for anyone.
So, now I run......but not from Him....I will run straight towards Him!!