June 1, 2011
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.
- Read Proverbs 27:17, Hebrews 10:23-25 and Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. Why is being known inside of community critical to our individual growth?
- 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!