Me and my little brother Andy (Who is everything but blood to me) ran away from home once. I was about 10 or so, he was about 7. We had pitched a tent, or Andy's dad did and let us think we were big helpers. Andy's dad always called me One Adam 12, from the television show "Chips." It has always been my favorite nickname and only he calls me that. We pitched the tent in the backyard and accepted the tuck in from Andy's parents. As soon as their bedroom light went out, we left. I can't remember the reason we left, but I remember it was a specific attempt to become circus clowns or vagrants or something. We were going to stay gone. We were escaping the things we were taking for granted.
When I look back at it now, the woods, the darkness, the swaying trees that seemed to pick up more wind as we walked deeper into them, and the shaking of our voices getting shakier and shakier, those are my most dominating memories of the night. We walked right in as we did so many times during the day light. We must have walked 25 miles in kids-in-the-dark miles before we reached the pink Cadillac. In the woods by his house, there was a pink Cadillac totally wrapped around a tree. No bones or teeth laying around, just this rusted pink pile of car rubbish. But the car had blood all over it.
As we approached the car, black lights seemed to have been summoned from Elvis' grave or something and the blood lit up. The Cadillac was dark as everything else, but all of the sudden in the minds of two terrified kids, the scene came alive and every sound pierced us. We ran back out...all 100 kid-miles until we reached the tent. We jumped in, positioning ourselves in the true center of the tent to keep what lurked in the woods from grabbing us at the edges of the tent. No one came for us until Andy's dad woke us after we had finally fallen asleep the next morning. 1 Adam 12....Run....Bo-HeeHee....Hurry....Run. This is how this terrific man speaks. Handrewwwwwww.....Get up! I think we both were so glad to see him that it seemed very strange that we had tried to run away.
Nothing is easy. Nothing is perfect. I think it takes some people to see how scary and terrible it is in darkness to remember that it's not so bad right where you are. In the Bible, there is this story of Paul the Apostle. In one of these stories, Paul laments being shipwrecked and fearing for his life. He talks of being falsely imprisoned and beaten mercilessly. But he says this, "I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am." He is living the life he believes in and is paying the price that some of us all have to pay to follow who we are, and for me, to follow God.
We were just kids, but I can't remember a time that I wanted to be home more than when I was in the dark. I've been in the dark since a couple times, and it got even darker then. I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am in. This is something that takes daily practice.
PS. Don't be content with being abused by anyone that is supposed to love you. Forgive them because it hurts you not to forgive. But leave all that is dark behind you.
Thanks for reading...Z