We’ve lived in Florida longer than I can imagine, and we’d never taken the time to take the boat tour in this town to the north of us. It was delightful! Historical homes, lush greenery, canals that wound around bent old trees. I was in such awe during the whole hour of the tour that I don’t think I closed my mouth once. Could have caught me some serious bugs in there if we’d been going faster.
It was a place made for the imagination. It took me back to my childhood when we played day-long bouts of hide and seek with our neighborhood friends. Climbing trees and hiding in the uppermost branches. Hiding in window wells behind hedges grown tall and gangly. Hiding beneath the overhang of the creek that flowed around the outskirts of town. We’d be pirates or cowboys and Indians. We’d be cops and robbers or explorers. But hiding was always the main event in whatever we played.
I loved to hide. I had no fear of climbing trees, and getting up into the thickest section of leaves was the best challenge. (Of course, coming down was often an issue. Going up was always so much easier.) I wasn’t afraid of bugs (much) so I could stay down in the window wells for the longest time without getting freaked out by the crawly things that always inhabited those low, dark places. You might say I’ve been a natural hider my whole life.
I wasn’t as fond of seeking. The seeker was always odd man out. The one who wasn’t part of the conspirators. The one who was on his own to try and even up the score. Even then I could sense that the seeker felt parental. The one stepping in and ending the game. Not my choice for fun.
So it feels odd to me to see my life often being lived out as a game of hide and seek. Seeking that which will bring me contentment, that sense of success in my work, that sense of value in what I do. But just as easily I can hide from the things in my life that hurt or cause me grief and pain. Those things that I don’t want to acknowledge as my problems, my sins. Those times I’ve done wrong and don’t want to admit it, don’t want to deal with it. My reality is that I spend more time hiding than seeking.
What’s important, however, is not what I’m seeking for, but whom. And that Person I need to seek is often the One from whom I hide.
God knows me intimately. Whether I acknowledge Him or not, He knows everything about me. All that I do. What I say before I say it. And He pursues me. In love.
David gave some incredible advice to his son, Solomon.
“And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve Him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek Him, you will find Him. But if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.” 1 Chronicles 28:9
I’ve been sought. I’ve been found.
Why do I insist on hiding?
A mind could get lost in that question.