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What Do I Really Want?

“What do I really want?”


Fred Craddock tells the childhood story of playing hide and seek with his sister at his grandmother’s house. One day, he says, he found the perfect hiding place where he knew his sister would never find him. So he hid and waited for his sister to finish her counting to 100—she always cheated, he says—and then she came looking. All the time he was saying to himself, “She’ll never find me this time, she’ll never find me.....” A considerable amount time went by and suddenly it dawned on him: She’ll never find me! Young Fred had to decide, “What do I really want?”

For many of us, life itself can turn into a game of hide and seek in which, for various reasons, we hide the real me from the people around us, sometimes even the families with whom we live. Perhaps we are afraid of being hurt, or hurt again. Perhaps our self-understandings have become so beaten down that we think we are not worth the love or care of others. Perhaps we think everyone else is snobbish and rude. So we develop a front, a mask that other people see, but they never can get close to the real me. Then we tell ourselves, “They’ll never find me, they’ll never find me” until one day we cry out, “Please, somebody, find me!”

Adam and Eve tried to play hide and seek with God in the Garden, but I wonder what they really wanted? When you and I try to hide from God today, what do we really want? When we play hide and seek with each other, what do we really want? Young Fred finally stuck out a toe and made a little noise and his sister found him.

What do you really want?

John O. York




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