“Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within...”
Romans 12:2

Hide and Seek... Ready or not?

Hilary Butler - Monday, December 13, 2010
By Peter Butler.  This morning in the junk mail, was an advertisement for a book called "The Shakey Isles", in which it says that only one out of nine people in this country is disaster-ready.  Earthquakes aren't the only disaster for which we need to be ready.  Constantly in our lives, we come across people who have endured events where were the last things they ever thought would happen to them.  Vaccine reactions; diseases; accidents; middle age crises; an emptiness unfilled by anything they have so far experienced.  The list is long.

If you keep up to date with Out of the Mould offerings, you’ll be aware that all sorts of thought-associations can result in pen being put to paper. This blog is also in Out of the Mould, and is another example of the quillings daily life provokes.

Hide and Seek - Ready or Not?

Please don’t dismiss your childhood fun and games. The resurrection of those ingrained memories could prove a lifeline for you and your family in the future. And therein lies a challenge which I hope you’ll accept with all urgency. As my reverent and reputable readers ruminate on hopefully happy memories, you will soon see that being of sterling character can indeed incorporate people who may be considered nutty!!

For some reason I found myself thinking about boyhood games of Hide and Seek. There were all sorts of variations of this game including more rough and tumble versions which extended into teenage years. As I am not familiar with any “modern” ways this game may be played, let’s use a delightful, basic, no frills rendering of the game as set out in one of my favourite games’ books, “The Pheonix Dictionary of Games” by J.B. Pick:

“The Hiders hide while the Seeker counts with reverent and reputable slowness up to a hundred. The Seeker calls – audibly if “he” is of sterling character – and sets out to seek. The Hiders at once begin sneaking and working and wriggling towards Home. If Seeker tags one of them, the two change places next round. If all reach Home safely, the Seeker seeks again.”

I’m sure we all had our own refinements to the above, and rules would vary according to local factors such as the type of property being used, boundaries, ground cover, natural and man-made obstacles, ages of the players, and so on. But one thing will always remain in my mind as an essential to the game. After Seeker had struggled valiantly with an ever-so-fair count up to one hundred (or whatever) “he” would yell, bellow or quite likely in the excitement fail to call loudly enough:


This call was telling the Hiders that the hunt was on. How secure were the hiding places? The battle of wits would be an important factor in determining the outcome. Every Hider had to display their unique individual skills and be responsible for their own choices, decisions and tactics.

Did a player prefer to be a Hider or a Seeker?

To some extent their preference would influence how they played the game. If they wanted to play both roles they had the opportunity, but they could prolong either by making adjustments to the stratagem they employed.

The more I thought about those bygone days the more parallels my mind seemed to turn up. 

The world is full of “hiders” and “seekers”. They are to be found on both sides of the “system’s” fences.

What role we play at any time, depends on our environments, situations and circumstances. Are we on the run and needing a place of shelter and security from those whose “job” it is to hunt us down? Do we need to take the offensive and expose those who are hiding their true colours by very suspect strategies? And then some key words and questions began to push themselves forward:

“Am I ready?”

“Do I know what I am going to do?”

“Am I sure?”

These are three universally applicable questions covering so many life situations. So what will our answers be?

Perhaps we need time out to give them all the careful thought they deserve.

It won’t be long however before someone is bound to say, Excuse me, but I’m stuck. Something’s missing. How can I answer those questions without a context. There must be something to relate them to. You know … some sort of background…”

And I smile sweetly and say, “Yes I know what you mean, but I’m not going to provide that. You are! Don’t worry about trivialities, but choose some of the really important issues; the ones that we choose to run away from and hide. Ones we tend to procrastinate over. Maybe a flick through the daily newspaper will help us get unstuck!”

If I could see some faces and read some body language, or overhear a few mumblings that seem to be directed at that stupid person with stupid ideas … I think I would detect the usual responses when we are put on the spot!

So I’ll do a bit of whispered prompting: 

The Medical Centre might ring you soon wanting to make an appointment about so-and-so’s vaccination …

Your teenage daughter/son is going to the school ball and there are rumblings about an after-function party…

What about a death in the family, … a sudden illness or accident, some tragedy/disaster…

Are you, personally, ready to die? What about Eternity? …

Someone dobs you in saying that you abused your child, and the police and CYPs are going to interview you …

You are accused of shaken baby syndrome …

These examples and many others, are going to make up the Hide and Seek of life and you or I may have to call out,
“Coming whether you’re READY or NOT!” or we may hear those words from someone else. 

The answers to those three questions above are so crucial.

As mentioned, the game of Hide and Seek can have all sorts of variations and rules. In many ways it can be personalised. I have deliberately tried to stimulate a whole range of thought-associations that will rattle around in our minds which will cause us to confront real life issues whether we want to or not, because at some time – often when least expected and when we are unprepared – that voice will sound. It is no respector of persons:


It may be your voice to others, or it may be another’s voice to you, but we have to consider all implications of the reality of these “musts”: 

Being ready – being prepared. 

Being able to say, “I know” rather than “I think”. 

Being absolutely sure. 

If you think that I am imagining things, misinterpreting storm clouds on the horizon, that I am being an alarmist, then you need to think again. If you’re still stuck for issues to which you can relate those three questions, then you can always flip the RRMT coin.

Displaying the proverbial characteristics of the ostrich will make a person completely useless in any “game” of Hide and Seek. The thought associations of this may be hilarious, but the sobering realities of daily living are too important to ignore.
Let’s not fool ourselves. The “games” of life are very real and when it comes to Hiding and Seeking, are we prepared to admit that often, whether we like it or not, we want to run away and hide – and to stay hidden; that we can “survive” that way. In real life the “seeker” will seek to expose the dangers of remaining a “hider”, and become a “rescuer” helping those who are “lost” to survive.

Let’s move into another realm because there is a voice that cannot be ignored. What does our Creator have to say?

Put simply, here are a few pertinent things … !

“I came to seek and to save and I don’t change” There is no place where you can hide that I don’t know about.” 

“Seek me. Those who seek with all their heart will find…”  but most important of all: “YOU MUST ALWAYS BE READY … PREPARED … AND WATCHFUL … “

Whatever we may be now, hider or seeker – the Creator’s words should cause us to face the realities of a very “sick” and needy world which won’t get any better. It it’s not already a top priority in our lifestyles we should continually be joining the “right” dots together – making the necessary connections – to ensure we reach “home” safely.

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