Have you ever considered what your favorite Looney Tunes characters say about your character or personality?
Let’s start this conversation by asking, “Who are your favorite Looney Tunes characters?”
I grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons with my brother Zach. I had a few favorites, but when it gets right down to it, there are two. Speedy Gonzalez and the Road Runner.
As a kid my nickname was “Wheels”. I loved running. I was good at it. I loved running the bases at my softball game as the feeling of striking home plate with my cleat. There was such a sense of accomplishment in that. I still love running, there is something freeing about speed, and the ability to use my own two feet to get wherever I want to go. The physical push of running has always been good for my soul.
Speedy and Road Runner use their incredible land speed talent as a method for escaping. Their ability to outrun Sylvester the Cat and Wile E. Coyote, who are in constant pursuit of them for their next tasty meal, was the only protection they needed.
If we get back to the first question posed, “what does your favorite character say about your character?”, it made me wonder, is it a coincidence that I relate to these characters RUN? No, I don’t have a Sylvester or Road Runner in pursuit of making me their next tasty meal, but that I am prone to run.
Have you been there? Are also prone to run when faced with a challenge like Wile E. Coyote, and the only way you see to get out of it is to run?
Whatever you may find yourself running from or running to you are in good company.
As we have already studied this month, there are several characters in the Bible who may also relate to Speedy and Road Runner. If you can believe it or not, there is still more to study and to learn from.
Let’s take Moses as our example today, as we talked about on Cup of Hope.
Moses had an interesting life, a Hebrew boy, raised in the home of Pharaoh. When he gets old enough he wants to learn more about his family of origin and so he goes to the area where the Hebrews live and sees a fellow Hebrew being beaten by an Egyptian.
Can you imagine what he may have felt? He was enraged, and took matters into his own hands.
Exodus 2:12 says, “After looking in all directions to make sure no one was watching, Moses killed the Egyptian and hid his body in the sand.”
A Hebrew man, who grew up in an Egyptian home, defended his Hebrew brother, a man he hadn’t met and didn’t know.
We find out that the next day Moses returns to visit his Hebrew people and stumbles upon another argument, this time the squabble was between two Hebrew men. Moses again is moved to intervene.
Exodus 2:14 says, “The man replied, ‘Who appointed you to be our judge and prince?’ Are you going to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’”
Have you ever been in the place where you are looking around, looking over your shoulders to see who, if anyone is watching? And when you see no one is around, you take the step, you cross the line? Maybe you have said yes to something you wouldn’t say yes to if people were watching?
At some level, we can all relate to Moses in his looking over his shoulder before he crossed the line, and we can also relate to his next decision to run.
The question the Hebrew man asked cracked open a slurry of fear. And what he thought was seen by no one became known by the most powerful man in all of Egypt, Pharaoh. In verse 15 we find Moses, fleeing the scene to spare his own life.
“Sure enough, Pharaoh heard what had happened, and he tried to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in the land of Midian.”
We don’t have the privilege of knowing what Moses was thinking in those moments of fleeing from Pharaoh, but it could look similar to the cat and mouse game of Speedy and Sylvester.
I imagine that just as Moses did before he killed the Egyptian he spent the first days, months and maybe years looking over his shoulders wondering when Pharaoh’s men may find him
The story of Moses reminds us that we cannot outrun our mistakes. We can’t “hide” forever. And even when we think no one is watching, somehow, someway, what’s done in the darkness will be brought into the light (Luke 12:2-3)
But Moses’ story doesn’t end there. The light exposed the darkness of what Moses had done and he ran. But in the running, in hiding God met him. God met him and then asked him to do the one thing that would have caused Moses the most fear – meet Pharaoh face to face.
God asked Moses to return. He asked him to return to the place he’d been intentionally avoiding to preserve and protect his own life. And now God asked him to return. Like Moses, perhaps God wants to meet you in your running? Maybe like Moses, you have been running for years from your past? Or your past mistakes? Maybe you have been trying to outrun wrongs done to you or by you?
If you find yourself looking back over your shoulder wondering if your past will finally catch up with you, you are not alone. You don’t have to keep running, or looking back. You can’t outrun your past. You can’t outrun your hurt. You can’t outrun your mistakes.
But you can find rest in Jesus. You can find peace in him. God will use the mess of your past and make something beautiful out of it. No more running, Speedy Gonzalez. No more running Road Runner. No matter what you have done, the blood of Jesus covers it. The blood of Jesus washed it clean.
You, my friend, can stop looking over your shoulder and stop trying to outrun the mistakes of your past, instead look forward and delight your eyes on Jesus, and you will see He is already delighting in you.
Father God, thank you for the humor of Looney Tunes and the stories of relatable tragedy and triumph we read about in the Bible. God delight in your people. And somehow, some way you can use our mistakes and our running. Nothing is too hard for your God. And no sin is too great for the blood of Jesus to cover it. I’m grateful that you meet us in our running from our past. I thank you that we can stop running from what happened and start running into your loving arms. Hold us closely Lord as we choose to stop running from our past and trust you with it. In Jesus name, may your words and the story of Moses produce fruit in the hearts, minds and lives of all who read it. Amen and amen.
If your past mistakes have haunted you for long enough, and you are ready to stop trying to outrun them, reach out to me. I think you may also be impacted by my book Ascent to Hope, where you will see, you are not alone in your mistakes.