Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Psychology of Hide-and-Seek

One of the most profound statements of divine intention is found in Paul’s Mars Hill sermon where he explains to the Greek god-seekers: God’s purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us (Acts 17:27). It seems that God positions Himself in a celestial game, respectfully, of “hide-and-seek.”

Imagine how we would frustrate our children if, while playing hide-and-seek, we were to leave the house and never return. “How cruel,” you say? But in the real world, some parents do this, leaving their families for a lover or an adventure, or just because they don’t want to be a parent anymore. For all practical purposes, they remain hidden from their youngsters’ eyes, surfacing years later, to be greeted with that long-unanswered question, “Where were you?”

I am no anthropologist, but I can imagine that “hide-and-seek” is a cross-cultural phenomenon. Why?—because it is so deeply psychological. Playing hide-and-seek teaches children that their parents will always be there for them; and though Daddy or Mommy are unseen for a moment, they are there; they will be found. Our heavenly Father says, "I love you who love me and diligently seek me. And when you search for Me with all your heart, I will be found by you, and, moreover, I will never leave or abandon you (Prov. 8:17: Jer. 29:13-14; Heb 13:5).

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dr. Greg,
    Sorry for the belated response. This is a good post in that it has the focus of the relationship between the one who hides and the one who seeks.
    What scripture declares is that it is man who hides and God who seeks. This started with Adam. Did God not know where Adam was when God asked, "Adam, where are you?" In the parables Jesus taught (coin, sheep), the one who seeks (even stoops when looking all over the home for the lost item) is representative of God.
    God is not hard of hearing, or on the toilet, or away (as Baal was portrayed in the grand game show between Elijah and the false prophets). God is seeking us. I find it amazing that the God who has need of nothing is still seeking us. That is the absurdity of love!
    We hide because we do not believe in the comprehensive nature of that love.
    Larry Q