Meaning, he's going away from me. Sometimes RUNNING away from me. I say his name, he gets up and goes the other way. Where to? Anywhere I am not. Towards what? Anything that doesn't involve me.
I'm not hurt. I know this is normal. He's growing, changing, learning, exploring, testing.
We went to the beach and he/didn't/stop. NOT ONCE. He was chasing after a dog who was chasing after a ball (all the time pointing and saying "oey" which is his word for anything furry with four legs - it's him trying to say his grandma's dog's name - Zoey). He was moving towards bright colored toys that weren't his. He was walking fearlessly into the waves, only turn back around and walk out, turn back around and walk in, repeat, repeat, repeat.
I picked him up, he squirmed and balked. He ran over and played a quick game of soccer with a cute little boy about the same age as he is. He laughed in delight when a little dog ran up to him. He splashed in the waves, threw sand in his friend's face, ate sand, rolled in sand, got sand in his eye, his hair, his diaper....
....and the whole time I followed. Put my hand behind him when he looked like he might teeter over. My back baked in the sun for 2 hours while I didn't sit down, didn't relax, didn't get to visit with my friend, didn't do anything - except watch out for my son.
So you can imagine the joy I felt when this evening, more than once, a sleepy buddy crawled up onto my lap, nuzzled his face into my neck, and put an arm around my back. He came to me! I didn't chase him or cajole. He came to me because he wanted to.
What a picture of how I am with Jesus! He's always there, following me around, with His hand on the small of my back because I look like I might teeter over. I'm always running towards the next thing. The grass will be greener over here. Or - if only we had this or lived there.
And He's there. My heavenly Father. Telling me, as I run away towards the next best thing, that He wants to be with me. He wants to spend time with me. He is more than any of those things I run away from Him for. Right now I'm learning that I need to stop, turn around, put my arms around His strong neck, put my face against His chest, and rest. Only then will I find what I'm looking for.