I think everyone has a childhood story about running away. All of us at some point decided to pack our necessities into our super hero backpack and call it quits on our families. I remember my story very well.
As a 5 year old I packed up my teddy, a pair of underwear, a coloring book, and some hot-wheels and headed out into the great beyond. At dinner my brother had told on me for using curse words with Bobby, one of the neighborhood kids, and Mom threatened to trade my dinner out for a bar of soap. Bobby had street cred, he was a rebel, he had a Nintendo, and he was every bit of the man that I wasn't. Looking back now, I also remember him having a mullet, but still, I wanted to be like Bobby.
I remember standing with him by his bike and watching my brother come down the road from the school bus. Bobby was shouting curses and cruel names at my brother and I was affirming them with forceful repetition despite not knowing exactly what they meant. I had become Bobby's self appointed hype man and I was killing it! As it turns out, those words did mean something, and whatever they meant, it was bad. So, just after the table was cleared, with my ninja turtle backpack in tow, I began a rebellion. Tonight I would not taste soap.
Sitting at the end of the dirt road that went behind our house I sat and contemplated where this new life of freedom might take me. At first I felt carefree and liberated but it wasn't long before I realized that my bag of necessities was lacking something vital, the bedtime snack. Each night before bed, each child in the Luman home was offered a treasured gift, two Oreo cookies and a half glass of milk.
As I sat and longed for those chocolate morsels with the creme filling I was overcome with an impossible terror. Tonight, out on the road, in my rebellion, there would be no such offering. Without giving it another thought I marched home to brave whatever consequences might await me because nothing was worth missing those cookies!
25 years later, I still sometimes find myself making choices that lead to difficult consequences. I want to run and hide rather than face the pain of disappointing the one who made the rules. I mistrust the rule maker and assume that they are out to get me instead of trying to protect me. But overtime I run, I quickly realize that doing so leads to greater consequences, and no cookies.
So next time you want to run and hide, find the courage to face the consequences. You'll be better off in the long run.