In the Bible, there is the story of David who became a king of ancient Israel. God chose him as king because his heart was in the right place (1 Samuel 16:7). One day, while David was still a tender of his father’s sheep, he was brought into the service of the king named Saul and eventually rose to the head of the army or fighting men. But Saul got jealous of David because he was more popular with the people. In a frenzy, Saul brandished a spear to pin David to the wall. “But David twice evaded him” (1 Samuel 18:11, Jerusalem Bible).
I like that word evade. According to the Oxford dictionary evade means “escape from, avoid”. It can have a negative meaning as in avoiding something one should do. It can have a positive meaning as in avoiding danger. In David’s case, he was avoiding danger, so here evade has a positive meaning although he was in danger.
David was avoiding getting killed and escaped. He did not fight back his aggressor but resisted him. The subtle current of evasion is present here. It avoids confrontation and a big fight. In David’s case, he evaded the king because he did not want to dishonour the king even though he was threatened by him. So, he evaded him and succeeded in evading him.
Sometimes, in life, evasion is the best thing to do. It avoids conflict and enables one to survive unscathed without any repercussions.
There is the story of the businessman who had to make a decision that would affect many shareholders. He was confronted by a major shareholder on it which caused him grief and disappointment. But he went away, sat down, and thought about what he would do, in the deep quiet. Then, he was peaceful and felt calm about whatever way he would go.
Evasion consciously applies ‘what to do’ in a situation without the negative consequences of a bad decision in the heat of the moment. Evasion does have its advantages as it diffuses tension in the present and enables one to go to a better place and reflect on what to do rather than react to a confrontation.