Hide and Seek
When I was a kid we would often spend holidays with my extended family. Not just Thanksgiving and Christmas, (although those were some of the best) but also Labor Day, Memorial Day and when pushed…Flag Day. My mom had 4 sisters and a brother and between all of them they had tons of kids, so when we all descended on my grandparents’ house it was like locusts. There was chatter and noise, and tons of hustle and bustle preparing food and allowing my mom and her siblings to catch up and to spend some quality time with their mother. All the siblings except one. The one lone boy was the baby of the family and although technically my uncle he was young enough to feel more like a cousin and to treat us more like siblings.
My grandparents lived in old houses with tons of character and on more than one occasion, tons of bats. There were always basements that we were to stay out of and attics that were not meant to be played in, but there was also my uncle. My Uncle Chuck would almost always suggest a game that the four oldest cousins could play with him. I can still hear him saying, “Let’s play hide and seek! The boys will hide and then you two come find us.” I had a cousin who I think of as a sister. She was a bit younger, much funnier and had an adorable smile. We looked like some Disney version of Cagney and Lacey.
The rules of hide and seek went something like this. You stay here in the safe living room and count to 200 and we will go hide. Come find us and good luck. While sitting in the living room surrounded by family photos, Tiffany lamps and an untouchable piano, it always sounded like a great idea. We would sit and giggle and count and then yell the obligatory phrase, “Ready or not, here we come!” and then we were off to find the boys. We hustled to look in closets and behind shower curtains, even glancing under beds and places those boys wouldn’t fit in even if they were folded in half. After searching for what seemed like hours we knew we had to look in the attic.
The door creaked and there was only one light bulb that barely lit at the top of the stairs. As we climbed each step we were afraid. We knew we needed to keep looking but we had no idea what we would find on our journey. We couldn’t see very well, and we didn’t know our way around. We knew that finding the boys was the answer, but we were terrified of what obstacle we would discover along the way.
Today as I embark on my pilgrimage to discover what God wants my purpose to be, I have the same fear as I did during that game of hide and seek. I know that I must be persistent and not allow obstacles to derail the process but there are so many things being thrown at me. Today I struggle with job uncertainty, watching my children struggle and underlying anxiety that I just can’t seem to get fully under control. I know that God’s purpose for me is out there. I know that I must stay focused and driven to discover it, but the closer I get the harder battles I am faced with.
We would eventually find the boys (and the bats) and we would be gleeful and excited. I’m not sure if it was because we found them or because our bodies were surging with adrenalin, but either way I know I learned something on the journey. While discovering my purpose is hard, it’s also about surrendering to the journey. It’s about saying to God, that I cannot combat this fear and anxiety without you and if you need me to do something than I need your help. The journey is about the relationship we build with Jesus along the way and today I’ve learned that I am weak and exhausted. But I am pursuing a God that is strong in my weakness and is whispering in my ear…don’t give up…just a little bit further. So, ready or not…here I come.