For those of you who know me well, you know that I adore a period movie or television series. Gone With the Wind, Sunset Boulevard, Brideshead Revisited, Midsomer Murders, and Downton Abbey are but a few of the celluloid masterpieces that allow me to do one thing—escape. In this insanely perplexing chasm that we call life, there are times when escapism appears to be our only alternative. Tomorrow, I’m going to see 1917 with dear friends, the Signs. I’ll sit in the dark, watching the flickering shadows and bursts of color, as the sounds of war surround me. And for a brief moment in time, I’ll be there in the muddy, rat-invested trenches of WWI. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to escape into another world, to forget your cares, to live in someone else’s boots.
However, when escapism becomes an attractive solution to our day-to-day problems, causing us to run from them instead of facing them, that’s when there’s trouble afoot. Generally, when the going gets tough, we get going—in the opposite direction. Perhaps you play the blame game. It’s not my fault. Other people were unkind to me. I can’t face all that life dumps on me. Yes, I know that of which you speak. I, too, have played that game. Although when I did, life’s chasm engulfed me, squeezing the breath from my lungs. I then looked upward and saw a much-needed escape—the loving arms of a merciful God. He taught me that when conflicts and difficulties do arise, it’s best to run to them, not from them. Escapism is suitable for a moment, but like a misty morning, it quickly fades. And when it does, your problems have not been solved. Learn to face them. Embrace them. Challenge them. But don’t run from them! In the end, you’ll be thankful you did.