I was playing Hide ‘n Seek with my 5-year-old nephew, Matthew, this weekend.
You have to understand something about him. He plays by his own rules and those rules generally are skewed ridiculously in his favor.
So this time, I explained the rules to him: I had him count to 50 (count to 10 five times), and then come find me. When it was his turn to hide, he had to stay hidden until I found him or come out when I called him.
This game went on for a while, and we were both enjoying it. I found some really good hiding places, and he had quite a difficult time finding me.
His hiding places were rather funny. Once he hid under the blanket on our bed. I found him immediately, but “pretended” not to know where he was. So I’m walking around the room “wondering” where Matthew is, and he’s giggling like crazy under the blankets thinking, “uncle Paul is soooo unobservant.”
Eventually, I find him, and he’s all sweaty, hair matted, with a huge smile on his face.
“Ok, I’ll count five times, and you go hide now, Uncle Paul!”
We did this routine a few times. Twice he hid under the covers on our bed, once under the futon with his butt stucking out of the bottom, once in the closet where I had previously hid, and once under the desk where his gramma was working on the computer.
At one point in the game, I was hiding. I thought it’d be funny to hide as out in the open as possible, so I hid in the guest-room, where the toy chest is. There was a jacket hanging on the door, so I just put the jacket over my face, stood there in plain sight, and tucked my feet behind a couple of boxes.
I heard Matthew run around for a while and then he came in the room. I figured he’d find me almost immediately until I heard him digging through the toy chest, getting out some legos. Then I heard him sit down and start playing with legos. I peekd out from under the coat and looked at him, his back to me. I snuck out from my hiding place and hovered over him, but he was completely engaged in whatever he was building.
“What’re you DOING,” I asked.
“I got tired of playing that,” he replied, as he continued playing with his little plastic blocks.
Here we were, heavily engaged in something, enjoying the company of one another, and instantly he was side-tracked and disconnected from me.
On top of that, when I prodded, his response was completely self-absorbed.
I walked away, shaking my head, thinking to myself, “you are soooo five” and then stopped in the middle of the hallway as it dawned on me that I am constantly exhibiting that kind of behavior with God. It was humbling and comforting to think that He never shakes His head and walks away, wishing we would hurry up and mature.
“What’re you building,” I asked as I returned to the room, eager to reconnect.