Sodom stank worse than rotten eggs, and the angels told Lot to hightail it out of town ahead of the sulfur storm. Lot dawdled, so the angels shoved him and his wife and his daughter out the city’s gate and told them to run for their lives.
Don’t stop. Head for the hills.
Don’t look back.
Even though the town reeked with sin and gangs roamed the neighborhood and life wasn’t all that secure, one knew what to expect and how to protect. But now Lot’s family fled their comfort zone and faced homelessness. No time to pack up the jewelry and new clothes and gold coins and other earthly treasures destined for burning. Mrs. Lot lagged behind.
And then she looked back.
She didn’t just glance behind her. She stopped and beheld the scene. We don’t know what she was thinking. Was she mourning her old story? Was she mesmerized by the unfolding drama? At any rate, she stood still too long.
She turned into a statue.
Salt solidified. Potential locked in a pillar.
Because she looked back.
The Israelites packed up their treasures and followed pillars of cloud and fire and crossed a sea on dry land after experiencing miraculous deliverence. God protected and fed them. He rained daily bread. But they still engaged in wilderness whining.
And they looked back.
They forgot their suffering. Their uncomfortable life in a comfort zone. They forgot the salty tears that seasoned their fish. They missed their cukes and melons and leeks and onions and garlic. Yuck on the same old manna. Maybe God could quell their cravings with an Oreo shower?
But they got a quail storm. And a plague. And a lot of them died. They missed their potential in the promised land.
Because they looked back.
Orpah and Ruth packed up and headed from Moab to Bethlehem with Naomi. Then Naomi stopped them for a family meeting. Did the young women really want to leave their comfort zone? Their friends, their family, their gods? Moab held security and maybe new husbands. Going forward meant risk and certain hardship.
Orpah looked back.
And Orpah went back.
God didn’t tell us what happened to her. But certainly she lost blessings. Ruth embraced risk and found security in the one true God. She entered into a new story. She pressed forward and married a wonderful and wealthy man and became the great-grandmother of King David. She became part of our story. Potential plus.
Ruth didn’t look back.
Is God calling you into new territory? Are you lingering in your comfort zone? Are you looking back?
Scriptures to read: Genesis 19, Numbers 11, Ruth 1.
Copyright © 2009 by Sandra Heska King