“Jacob left Beersheba and went toward Haran.” (Genesis 28:10)
Jacob of the Bible — he ran.
He ran from the comfort of home.
And from the people he loved.
He ran with the lie that it’s a birth order that’s needed to make him right in life.
That it’s the firstborn right that would set him right for life.
And when you somehow miss that order, or anything else you think you need to get ahead in life; you can somewhat struggle and strive, scheme and shove, so you can stay atop. So you won’t fall behind.
I know this face. I was, had been, and sometimes still am.
But that night, under the starry host and fifty miles away from home, Jacob in his utter aloneness and with his utmost forlornness, took a stone to lay his head.
He dreamt. And saw a stairway.
There at the very top of the ladder was God, speaking to him.
And this is where it gets me.
Sometimes we may run all we want.
Try all we can.
And still find ourselves: a fugitive.
A runaway staring from the bottom of the ladder figuring out how on earth we’d ever make it, a soul still circling crazy to save a sane seat in the supposed sweet spot.
The ladders in life — those meant to raise you higher, get you somewhere, make you someone, only get you tired in the pursuing. The steps don’t always stack up for those born without a silver spoon. But God, from the top of the ladder, speaks Jesus, who became the stairway, the bridge that crosses us over our biggest gulf:
“…the Son of Man, the One who is the stairway between heaven and earth” (John 15:1)
He speaks hope and whispers it into us:
Don’t try to be someone, do something, go somewhere.
Let Me be your way.
He becomes the One ladder for humanity’s one step to heaven, the life-line that changes our scarcity to sufficiency.
And this is the challenge: when we feel insufficient and inadequate in the ranks of the world, would we trust Him for our significance?
On runaway roads, I see Him there, worship Him there.
I can see Him — at the sink, behind the wheel, and in the indefinite period of all the waiting — I can see Him here, in the imperfect places of my life…
The glamour of the ordinary is only for the seeing eyes, the lips ready to praise.
I can cease working for Him, and really learn to care like Him.
I can stop wishing a life which does great things for God, and instead, build a life that encounters this great God.
Maybe it’s true, the art for celebrating the good life isn’t in the producing or performing, but in the presence of Peace, the One Person.
That roughly there in the rough, sketchy, strained patches of our lives, we can still step right on and up, confidently, calmly.
We will be met by Him who will always lifts us up.