Sunday 11 Dec 2016

Running Man
M Adam Roberts

I've been running my whole life. Even as a child, I felt I was on a treadmill. I'm afraid it might always be this way for me.

I need to stop and rest but I don't feel safe in doing it. I have to keep moving. Danger lurks in the distance.

I feel like David Banner. He portrays the "Incredible Hulk," on television. He wants to stop running, but can't. He wishes he could be normal, like everyone else, but he knows he's not. He knows if he doesn't keep moving, someone will discover how different he is and try to destroy him.

There have been times in my life when I've tried to be still. It didn't work for me. Others were not able to understand me. They demanded I conform to their way of thinking.

Once, there was an ultimatum. Change your way of thinking or suffer the consequences. I couldn't change and I suffered the consequences.

I suffer still.

I came to the realization I may be doomed to a life of loneliness. It's the price for being me. It's a price I'm willing to pay, but with sadness.

I wish it didn't have to be this way. I wish there were millions of others like myself, but I know there aren't. Sometimes I wonder if there is even one other like me, or should I say, one other who aspires to be as I aspire to be.

I have a picture in my mind of this person who I believe myself to be, but truly, I am not. It bothers me that I am not who I believe myself to be, so I take off running hoping to find my true self somewhere along the way.

Settling down requires that I conform to the beliefs and expectations of others around me. If I refuse to submit to their ways of thinking, I can't join their club.

I don't want to be a part of anyone's club. I just want to be free to be me, but the world won't allow it. It won't allow anyone to stand alone, be he or she. No individualism permitted. Join the club, conform or stay way.

The place I seek is a lonely place; somewhere almost void of humanity. I fear this place doesn't exist on this earth. I need to believe that it does.

I know the place I seek has no particular geographical location. I'm very aware that it's a spiritual place, but still I seek it as if it were physical, because, in body, I am physical.

I'm sure the answer to my problem lies in this fact, that I am seeking a spiritual place in a physical way. I guess I don't know how to exist outside of my physical body. It's quite a perplexing problem.

While running, I feel hopeful that maybe there's still a chance of me finding what I'm looking for out there somewhere.

Perhaps, if I keep moving, I'll find someone else out there who seeks the same things that I do, and then I won't have to walk this life alone anymore.

I've looked high and low here, and I am discontent with all that I see. I don't know what else to do but to keep moving. I'm not satisfied where I find myself, now.

What is it that I'm really seeking? What is it that I'm running from?

I know the answer, and I'm ashamed to say that sometimes I'm embarrassed to share it with others.

I don't know why. I guess I fear professing this will deny me an invitation to the club. A club keep I don't wish to join. As Groucho said, "I won't belong to a club that would have someone like me as a member."

I desire a life of holiness and pureness. A life without sin, a world without sin, where love and individualism flourish is my goal. I cannot find it anywhere here on earth, not even within myself.

I run to escape the imperfection around me, and within me. I don't want to be a part of it, but I am. I feel that if I settle I give up the fight. Settling means somewhere, someway, somehow given in to the ways of the world, and that frightens me.

I know my flight is futile. Where can I work, where can I live and with whom can I live, where no sin exists? I can't even be with myself.

Still, I seek holiness and purity upon this earth, even though I know it rarely exists here, if at all. I'm running from my sin. I'm running from the sins of those around me. I find sin everywhere and it leaves me feeling ashamed and dissatisfied with others and myself.

I wish I could escape it. I know I can't in my own strength or ability. Still, if I could

There's only one route of escape and it's not a physical location on this earth. You won't find it in yourself. Escape exists in the place of one perfect person, who came from above, to deliver us from our wicked nature, and to lead us into everlasting life.

Only through faith in His perfect sacrifice, made for us, is there any hope of escaping the penalty we owe for our sins. I know in saying this I probably just disqualified myself from many of the world's most popular clubs. That's okay: I didn't want to join anyway.

I recall watching the movie, "Forest Gump," when it first came out years ago. There came a point in Forest's life when he just felt like taking off and running. He did.

He ran, and ran, and ran some more. For days, and weeks, and months, he ran. Finally, one day, he decided he didn't feel like running anymore, so he turned around and ran back home. Maybe that's what I need to do, stop; I'm tired of running.

M Adam Roberts lives and writes from Clearwater, Florida.

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