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  • Writer's pictureElpidio Pezzella

Wings to Fly Away

So I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove!

I would fly away and be at rest.

Indeed, I would wander far off, and remain in the wilderness.

I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.”

(Psalms 55:6-8 NKJV)

Problems are not solved by running away from them, even if the first impulse always goes in the opposite direction and points far away. Just as it was for the prophet Jonah (whose name means "dove") years later, but who found himself in even more serious problems. The author of the Psalm wanted to escape, escape the problems of the moment, flying, like a dove, far away in the desert. When an impetuous wind blows on our life, when the storm envelops and upsets us, the understandable desire and the common aspiration is to run away. When a mountain rises in front of it, rather than going against it and overcoming it, instinct pushes elsewhere. The Psalm refers to a difficult time for David due to the revolt of his son Absalom. The king must deal with the betrayal of his friend and adviser Ahitofel, who passed right into the ranks of the rebels (2 Samuel 15:12). He was a trusted friend, an intimate confidant, a prayer companion from whom one would never have expected a similar action. The deep disappointment pushes him into despair, and having no rest in the lament and with a heart that agonizes he takes refuge in prayer.

We can try to escape from everything, and often when we flee it is an opportunity to be found by God, as happens for Moses and Jacob, or to find ourselves again (re-enter oneself) as it was for the prodigal son. Psalm 139 first of all expresses the closeness of the Lord, whose hand is on our life. He is truly patient with us, broad in compassion and great in kindness: "Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? " (v. 7). His presence surrounds us, marking our step in being in front of us, and when we do not see him he is behind us, watching over and protecting our walk. Certainly his hand is upon us: "You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me." (v. 5). If we are honest, while trusting in the help of his Lord in the awareness that he knows every aspect of his life, we cannot deny that there are moments of existence in which an immense desire to escape assails him. There are various reasons that can lead to evasion: a betrayal, a disappointment, a failure, a trauma or a physical problem. Scripture is full of characters who have given themselves or have been induced to flee: Moses after a murder, Jacob threatened by his brother after the "theft" of the birthright, Judge Jephthah is estranged from his brothers, Jonah from the Ninevites and from the mission to announce their plans of God, Elijah of Jezebel. To these we could also add the second son of the loving father, who decides to leave the family home and go far away.

There are situations that could encourage people to leave the community, considering this to be the simplest solution. But are we sure? The human being, whoever he is, will have to fight to remain faithful. Each could include a series of disappointments and betrayals suffered. We should be equally honest in listing those practiced: "no one thinks you are upright". Family disputes, disputes between brothers and sisters, marital misunderstandings, discussions at work… this is the daily bread. Never run away from God, and when we do not have the courage to face our challenges, let us allow ourselves to be led as it was for Moses by Pharaoh, David against Goliath, Jacob in the encounter with Esau. Yes, the battles that we are unable to fight alone, let's face them in the name of the Lord, let us surrender to Him invoking that His will be fulfilled in our life. I don't know if you are far away now or if you are about to leave for an escape. I hope this reflection will help you make the best decision, opting for the will of the Lord. "He who heeds the word wisely will find good, and whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he" (Proverbs 16:20).


Weekly Bible Reading

Plan #08

February 14, Leviticus 15-16; Matthew 27:1-26

February 15, Leviticus 17-18; Matthew 27:27-50

February 16, Leviticus 19-20; Matthew 27:51-66

February 17, Leviticus 21-22; Matthew 28

February 18, Leviticus 23-24; Mark 1:1-22

February 19, Leviticus 25; Mark 1:23-45

February 20, Leviticus 26-27; Mark 2

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