In the week or so leading up to Candice and I leaving for India to get Enoch we both were blessed to have quality times playing and talking with Isaiah.
 
One of those times for me was while Candice was out running errands.  
Isaiah and I were playing with toys in his room and somehow it transitioned to a game of tag.  The game of tag evolved into a game of Hide and Seek.  It was glorious playing with my boy and observing him as he experienced such joy in the game.  I marveled at how he directed our play, no doubt showing some things he had learned at school.  I didn’t even know he knew of the game of tag. 
 
Hid and Sought
 
If I remember correctly, I started to hide a little while we were running around upstairs and tagging each other.  At one point, when he was IT, I ran downstairs, slammed the closet door, and then ran into my office.  I heard him talking to himself.
“Where’s my papa?  …In here?”
I heard him open the closet door.
“papa?  No.. hmmmm…. Are you in your office?”
He came closer and slowly poked his head through the doorframe and peeked around the stack of boxes I was hiding behind.
“There you are, Papa!  My turn; you count to ten!”
 
So I went to the foot of the staircase and counted to ten.  When I came back to my office I found him hiding exactly where I had been hiding.  Then it was his turn to count and my turn to hide, but first he adamantly specified,
“Papa, you hide there.”
Pointing to the same place we had both been the two previous times
 
Of course, I would have none of that.  I hid behind the couch.
He really liked that so he hid behind the couch next time and commanded me to hide there the time after that.
I hid in my office bathroom.
He still liked the couch and hid there again and insisted that I do the same.
I hid behind the door.
He wasn’t angry, but he was adamant.  Hiding behind the couch was non-negotiable.
 
The next time he was counting I kicked it up a notch. As quietly as I could, I opened my office door to the outside and ran around to the front door of our townhouse, hoping it was unlocked.  Since he was pretty much counting to 4 at this point instead of 10 I didn’t have to worry that he’d still be in the house. As I silently opened the door and entered the house I heard Isaiah in my office, clearly confused, checking each spot I had used previously.
“Papa, are you here? Are you here? Are you here?”
 
He heard me sneaking up behind him and turned around.  We both laughed.

 

The Metaphor
 
Sometimes my True and Heavenly Father is gracious enough to give me glimpses of his love and his parenting of me through brief moments when I parent my son.  This was one such time. 
More to the point, I also see myself in Isaiah.
 
If the game we played could be a metaphor for the life I lead, I often respond to The Father the way Isaiah responded to me.  Allow me to explain.
 
When I am spending quality time with God, when I am truly close to Him, when we are reveling in shared joy and experiences, He kicks it up a notch.
 
He turns tag into hide and seek. 
He brings the game up a level each time it’s His turn to play, slamming the closet door, turning on the bathroom light, pulling the couch away from the wall, and sneaking out the side door.
He’s creative, intuitive, resourceful, artistic, and he’s trying to teach me to enjoy and play the game to the fullest.
 
And all too often, just like Isaiah did, I stand in the center of the room, pointing at the old way and saying, “You hide there!”
 

The Truth
 
Maybe I fear change.  Maybe I just like knowing what to expect. Maybe I like being in control.  Or maybe I don’t value growth and development as much as I’d like to think I do. 
 
Despite my resistance my True and Heavenly Father has constantly been pulling me to deeper, more complex levels of life.
 

  • I was born and raised in California but a job moved us to Indiana.
  • I thought Candice and I were going to have biological children and he took us on a journey of adoption.
  • We thought our second child would be from the same orphanage we had been to for Isaiah, he took us to a new place with new requirements to find Enoch.
  • I’m just getting used to the Midwest, Indiana, and now we’ll be moving on and we don’t know where we are going.
  • We’ve had three years as a family of three and we’re set in our ways, and tomorrow we meet our second son. 
  • And the game goes on, and the list goes on.

 
 
The Joy
 
Sometimes I hate it. And often I’m scared.  But I’m glad the Father deigns to play games with my life.  I’m glad the He beckons me to find Him where he’s hiding.  I’m glad he hides in new and creative places.
And I’m glad that he sneaks up behind me when I can’t find Him and we laugh for joy.

And I say, “Do it again.”

 

 

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One Response to Games With Papa

  1. Melissa Sprock says:

    Sweet words. So hard and true. It’s interesting that we often won’t pick the “spot” but it’s the one that brings the most joy. Hope you can see glimpses of that in India.

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