So, a few days after Christmas, we were home enjoying new toys and things, and Ben, who is six, decided to run away from home. We are not sure when or why the idea popped into his head. I suspect the seed sprouted when I made him write a pageful of sentences saying that he would be kind to others, and then made him write quite a few more since he didn't do the first set correctly. (By the end of the page it looked like he was writing something like I of the sldk...or something like that. Not even close.)
However, when he decided he wanted to go, the sentences incident was long done and over with, and he insisted it had nothing to do with that. He said he had gotten the idea based on a story we had once read, and thought it would be fun. So, with all seriousness, he packed a backpack. I'm not even sure what he put in it, but a lot of thought was put into it. We were all trying to help him think it through. Extra socks might be important, Cassandra and Uncle Greg who happened to be over, advised him to bring a toothbrush, but I don't think that made his cut. He said he would walk to fast food restaurants and explain to them that he had run away, and he was sure they would give him food. ; ) When we asked him where he would sleep, he wasn't really sure, but he thought he might knock on people's doors. (YES, we DID tell him how dangerous that would be, and yes, we have warned him about strangers many, many times.) When we asked him how long he intended to be away, he said probably until he was seven. (That's a few months, folks.)
So, he put on his coat and backpack, gave everyone hugs, and left with a big smile.
I peeked out the front door at him as he went...
And I reminded him to zip up his coat...
And no, we are not crazy. We sent Josh to follow him with instructions to not let him go too far. We were all curious to see exactly what he would do.
He walked to the neighborhood school playground--where else?--and then Josh told him he'd better come home. And he did. : )
He informed me that he really was planning on staying gone for at least a day. Not sure how that would have worked out for him... Jacob asked him why in the world would he want to leave all of his new legos?? Very good question.
And then I started thinking about that. Why would a little boy decide in his little mind to leave a warm, comfy home, plenty of food, a warm bed, all the love and hugs you could want, AND brand new Christmas toys?? Because, he just wanted something different. A new adventure. And unfortunately, that's what so many people, even Christians, so often do. Sometimes we don't want to follow the rules, love our neighbors, etc. Sometimes Christians just want some adventure. Adventure that really is dangerous, and honestly doesn't make sense. When God has promised to meet all of our needs, and even gives us so many "Christmas toys," why would anyone want to run away from Him? That is a very good question, indeed.