Not Going Back

She was so kind to write the note.  She gets it.  I’m always happy when I know folks really pay attention to what I’ve written.

The problem is, I think she may have come to the wrong conclusion.  It’s not her fault.

I wrote about Joseph and his unhappiness in Egypt, expressing my hope that at some point before my demise, I can learn to respond to new situations appropriately.

Her note complimented the article and then, with only three words, sent shivers down my back.

Welcome to Egypt.

My brain has been working on that statement all day.  Twenty miles, I rode my bicycle with a friend, and, in spite of good conversation as we rode, the question occupied my thoughts.

Am I in Egypt?  

Later, I mowed and trimmed my entire yard and, with only a moments rest, as I groused at the black lab who thought it appropriate to lick my face when I bent down (defenseless) to attend to an untied shoe, my poor brain labored with its problem nearly as hard as my body did with the obvious task at hand.

But by now, well past bedtime for most normal folks, I’m certain I have the answer.  Positive.

I’m not in Egypt.

I’m not.

Do you know that months before I was moved—against my will (and not quietly)—out of the my previous situation, I knew God had other plans for me?  I did.  Absolutely knew it.

I wrote about it, several times.

Crossing bridges. (Another Bridge, March 29, 2016) 

Doing a new thing. (New Things, February 29, 2016)

You may read about it for yourself.  It’s all there in the archives.

Oh, the arrogance.

I knew it.  I just wasn’t having any of it. 

Sometimes, our Creator has a way of moving us, when we’ve decided the place we are is just fine, thank you.

It’s sort of like the Children of Israel in the book of Exodus, when they thought they might like to stay in slavery.  You know, because it wasn’t all that bad.  

All their memories were of Egypt.  Not one of them had ever set foot in the Promised Land.

They would move, though.  When they were moved—against their will (and not quietly)—out of Egypt.

Out of Egypt.

If anything I’ve written over the last few months has led you to believe that I’m disappointed with where I am, I want to apologize.

It’s just that where I was was comfortable.  And safe.

And just like the complainers in the desert (and even like Lot’s wife before them) I’m looking before me at this unfamiliar and dangerous landscape over the bridge which has just been crossed, and yet, I’m still gazing back at the comfortable and safe place I’ve just vacated.  

I’ve stayed here too long—looking back.

Even now, He’s making paths in the wilderness ahead.

Even now, He’s making paths in the wilderness ahead. Click To Tweet

He’s filling the rivers in the dry wasteland before me with water.

Cool, clear water.

I don’t want to go back to Egypt.

Home lies ahead, not behind.

I’m going forward.

So thank you, my old friend, for the welcome.  But, I’ll pass.  I’m going the other direction.

Out of Egypt.

Going home.



The desert shatters the soul’s arrogance and leaves body and soul crying out in thirst and hunger. In the desert we trust God or die.
(Dan B Allender ~ American Christian therapist)


For I am about to do something new.
    See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
    I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
(Isaiah 43:19 ~ NLT)
(Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. All rights reserved.)



© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2017. All Rights Reserved.

3 thoughts on “Not Going Back

  1. This hit home. We are always leaving Egypt, heading home. I have a picture in my head of my mama calling her kids home. We stopped, almost immediately, dropped the ball, called to outfielders, turned, headed home. Hope to always do it that way, drop whatever I’m doing and do whatever is next His way.

    Well written. I like your paragraph breaks. : )

  2. Love it! I couldn’t wait for the next paragraph, but found myself rereading each one to extract more and more. Thank you. I needed this in my work life right now.

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