Did you ever run away as a kid? My brothers and I fled once when my parents were going to return our dog, Biff. He wasn't a very nice dog, but he was dog nonetheless, and we didn't want to see him go. So we ran into the woods with Biff for a couple of hours. We had to go home eventually (I think because we were hungry or something). When things get painful, it's easy to want to run away. That's just as true for adults as it is for children. The difference is that kids usually have to come home, but adults don't. I have observed pastors and leaders who have become discouraged at the attacks of other Christians, turned tail, and run. Not only did they forgo the peace of resolved conflict, but they also left those they were leading in the lurch. Elijah did that. Just after God worked miraculously through him on Mt. Carmel. He fled the scene because he was discouraged. He felt alone, and he believed that there wasn't another God-fearing person in the world. Elijah was wrong, and his attitude was the catalyst for the Lord moving him out of ministry. There were, in fact, several thousand people who needed Elijah's leadership. At the moment when they needed him the most, he got out of town and left them leaderless. The next time you're tempted to run away, remember that there is a cost involved in running away… a cost that often exceeds that of staying right where you are. It's those moments of tension when people need leaders the most… so hold on for the ride! It's all part of the ADVENTURE.
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Seth is a pastor, author, and speaker who lives in Batesville, Indiana. He is married to Kari, and they have two daughters, Madelyn and Noelle.