A Daredevil's Game - Playing with God
Summer = no school = time to play. As a child my favorite game was “Hide and Seek” where, unlike today’s highly organized team sports of children, no uniforms or coaches were required. For the uninitiated, the game of “Hide and Seek” has kids hide in the surroundings. Before they do, one of them is designated as “It,” and after counting aloud to ten goes in search for the others. The first hidden player found shouts for all to come out of hiding with the bewildering saying, “Ollie ollie oxen free.” Many speculate this is an Americanization of the German phrase, “Alles alles auch so ein frei,” meaning “everyone, everyone else is also free.” It’s a gift to us like the Christmas tree from the German immigrants to our country.
Anthropologists think “Hide and Seek” is the most prehistoric of all games played by the early humans! A close second surely is “Peekaboo,” a game played with babies. In it an older child or adult hides his or her face from the baby’s view and then suddenly appears saying “Peekaboo, I see you!” The baby must be eight to nine months old to play it, the age when an infant acquires the mental ability to comprehend that objects have permanence.
But the really primeval game combines “Peekaboo” and “Hide and Seek,” first played by our Greatest Grandfather Adam in Eden and continues to be played even today. Whenever one does something wrong, they seek to hide unseen behind a batch of flabby excuses or piously sit in the front pew at public worship. But “It”—who is God—gleefully shouts, “Peekaboo, I see you,” then hugs you with tender affectionate pardon.
As a spiritual seeker, you are “It”…and it is God’s turn to hide—usually right in front of your eyes in a dreadful disaster, at a joyous wedding dance, inside an old tin shack by the tracks or in a same sex marriage. Discerning, even if only faintly, your hidden Divine Beloved, you shout, “Peekaboo, I see You”—and God squeals joyfully like a baby.
“Hide and Seek” is the game of mystics whose eyes see the unseen. But it isn’t necessary to be a mystic to play, everyone is urged to as the Holy Book says, “I was his delight day by day, playing before him all the while, playing on the surface of his earth….” (Proverbs 8: 30-31.) The speaker here is interrupted as the spirit of Wisdom. Yet, in this ancient Game of Games no one sits on the bench, everyone plays, be they mystics or the mystified, the bamboozled or the blessed, believers or doubters. But beware: Only daredevils play this game since you become what you play, and having God as a playmate is addictive!
The Game of Mystic Merriment
Stop in front of any glorious blooming bush, breath in deeply and look intently at it—and then with glee mischievously exclaim, “Peekaboo, I see YOU!”