On one hand, I can run myself ragged in the dogged pursuit of some prize that always eludes me.
On the other hand, I can run like mad trying to escape some peril that seems just about to overtake me.
But I never get any closer to what I’m pursuing or any farther away from what I’m fleeing. I just end up exhausted from the continual chase and the constant flight.
I’m telling you, it’s tiring. I mean, I can even run in my sleep.
When I came home yesterday, I was just about to collapse from my sustained pace. As I sat at the family table, the conversation took an unexpected turn. The kids started trying to recall the words of Psalm 23. As popular as that Psalm is, none of us remembered it completely, so we helped each other piece the six verses together in the proper order.
Slowly, some things began to dawn on me.
The psalmist seemed to suggest that having the Lord as his shepherd meant he didn’t want for anything. And here I was, empty with wanting, and completely spent from chasing after what I lacked. The Shepherd was saying to me, “Sit down. Eat, drink, and rest.”
As for those footsteps behind me, and all that heavy breathing down my neck, the Shepherd directed me to look over my shoulder. I saw that it was the hounds of heaven who had been in hot pursuit. And now they were right on top of me.
Then I thought of King David. He was no stranger to trial and trouble. More than once he had to flee for his very life. Yet he assures us that, no matter how fast we run, God’s goodness will always run us down, and His mercy will always overtake us.
So, we had better get used to these tireless heavenly pursuers, because they’ll be hounding us for all of eternity.