This was written sometime in the Spring of 1997, so I'm sticking it here as a rough guess.
Here's the other contest entry I wrote.
Read: Hosea 14:1-4
Have you ever run away from home? Have you felt like your parents just didn't understand and you wanted to leave? I tried once, but when it started getting dark I got scared and returned. The fear of the approaching darkness and cold was more than I could take.
While few of us have ever run away from our earthly parents, all of us have run from God our Father at one time or another. Sin and shame have kept us from coming to God and calling Him Abba - Daddy.
God is our Father and He has adopted us into His family. Adoption=redemption. In the New Testament this is even more vividly illustrated. Through Jesus the way has been opened for us to return and stand directly before God.
The author of Hebrews wrote, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16).
There are two things to remember. One, God is our Father. We have done nothing to earn His love, and we can do nothing to lose it.
Two, when we mess up, all we must do is come to God humbly, and with confidence that He will forgive.
Make time for God is your life, time for prayer and Bible study. God likes being with us, and wants you to get to know Him better. Talk to Him, and listen to Him through His word.
Have you run away from God? Living with sin is like the darkness and cold of night. If you are tired of running, God Himself extends an invitation to you: Come home. God is extending His hand, waiting to warm you in His arms. Won't you come in from the cold?
Am I running from God? Do I think there is any place I can hide from Him?
What other gods (work, friends, school) are distracting me from taking time for God? Where is God calling me to a closer relationship with Him?