John 17:15- My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.
John Updike wrote a novel titled “Rabbit, Run” for which he became famous. The Wikipedia plot summary reads, “Harry ‘Rabbit’ Angstrom is 26, has a job selling a kitchen gadget named MagiPeeler, and is married to Janice, a former salesgirl at the store where he worked who is currently pregnant. They have a two-year-old son named Nelson, and live in Mount Judge, a suburb of Brewer, Pennsylvania. He believes that his marriage is corrupt and something is missing from his life: Having been a basketball star in high school, Harry finds his middle-class family life unsatisfying. On the spur of the moment, he decides to leave his family and drive south in an attempt to ‘escape’”. Maybe you thought about or even made an attempt to run away from home as a child. Maybe you still spend time dreaming about how to “get away from it all.” Some folks go to the shore or the mountains; some go to the bar or bring the bar to their home; some burry themselves in books and/or movies. This prayer of Jesus for his disciples is set on the night of his arrest, hours before he would go to the cross. His disciples would run away. There is a time and place for retreat and removing oneself to regroup. There may even be those God calls to lives apart dedicated to prayer. Most of us are like the disciples here, called to live in a world of challenge and change and conflict in the midst of which we are to trust God and love God and serve others. It is not escape but protection Jesus prays for his disciples. It is ultimately not escape but protection we need to follow him. This week where do you see your desire to escape? Where would you like divine protection?