Hide & Seek

As odd as it might sound, when I am walking outside sometimes I am looking for places that would make good spots to hide. I blame it on the numerous summer days spent playing Hide and Seek with my friends. All the kids would fan out through the neighborhood searching for a place to disappear hoping that the person who was It would never locate them. Climbing up trees, ducking between bushes, hiding underneath a set of stairs anywhere where they were out of sight would do. Yet, being the last one found was a badge of honor on our block.

It was a sense of accomplishment to hear someone scream out Olly Oxen Free! This expression is familiar to anyone who has spent anytime on a playground. It is used in childrens games to signal that the game is over or that the main player has given up hope of winning.

Now as a father of two young girls, I watch them play hide and seek and it is charming. However, during my time walking alongside people as a pastor, Ive come to realize watching grown men and woman still playing this game is nothing but depressing. The sad truth is that there are some who are still hidden behind that bush waiting for someone, anyone, to make that call: Olly, Olly, Oxen Free!

The game is the same, weve just come up with different hiding places and the players have perfected the craft of disappearing. True community will never take place if we remain hidden behind our jobs, fake appearances, social status, or pat Christian answers. The game of hide and seek will continue on from sun up to sun down.

Somebody has to have the courage to make the call: Olly, Olly, Oxen Free! It only takes one person who is willing to lay down their agenda for others to realize they can come out hiding without the risk of being caught. There is no fear of being caughtonly found.  There is no longer the pressure to hide.

Community is essential in our transformation process. Without being known others, the likelihood of true inner change occurring is very slim. Every one of us needs a few people to tell us the truth about our heart, point out our weaknesses, and also celebrate our successes. It is imperative that we all have someone who will ask those difficult questions.

  • Think of the area where you are most vulnerable to stumbling as it relates to your One Word. What are you risking by keeping your struggles to yourself? What benefit is there to becoming transparent before God and inside community?

Are you looking for a way to keep your word in front of you all year long? Register for a My One Word account! One of the key features of a MOW account is an online Word Journal that allows you to capture your thoughts to reflective questions like you see above. You can go back at any time to read your completed journals to see how God has been moving in your life through your word in 2011.  If you already have an account, the questions from this blog have been posted to your Word Journal —log in to your account to start your Word Journal today!

  • karen

    God’s timing is always so good. For some time now, I have been struggling to get to church when I should go; I have stepped out of a leadership position in my church, work hours have intruded into church time, and even when I am “available” I have lost the desire to be there. I know that for quite some time now, I have been hiding. I don’t ask for prayer when it is needed, I don’t lean on my friends around me, I don’t allow for a chance to grow. Perhaps I am afraid of what that growth will bring. There are many challenges in my life right now – and fears have always tended to bring me to a desire to hide. I had chosen strength as my word – I need God’s strength to help me through the challenges that I face, and also to know that God has given me all the strength that I need to make it through. What I had forgotten is that strength comes from many places – not just from Him or myself…. He provides strength through others as well. Now, if only I have the courage to come out of hiding…. esp since it is God yelling “Olly, olly, oxen free!”!

  • May

    Love your analogy. I am asking God to help keep me in plain sight today! He and I both know my struggles. Time to shine some light on them and there will surely be better light outside the hiding places.