Hide and Seek and Remembering Promises.

A beam of light shining through the pitch-black woods, searching for a shadowed silhouette. Hiding behind a rock, my heart raced as the distance between the seeker and my hiding spot closed. Behind me, about fifty feet “on my six”, was another youth hiding behind a clump of trees. The beam of light leapt over the rock that I was hiding behind and crept closer to my friend. I closed my lips tightly, resisting the urge to speak – I could not give away my spot. It was then I heard the dreaded words from below, “Got ya!” 

“Ahhh man,” my friend came out from behind his hiding place, completely illuminated by the flashlight. 

The light quickly moved on, following its guide down the forest path. 

I was safe…for now. 


A staple of my childhood; spotlight gathered youth from all over the neighborhood to our backyard for fun-filled evenings of Hide and Seek. We would spend hours in the woods behind our house, using every bit of the half an acre of woods to its fullest extent. Some kids would hide behind boulders, while others would climb trees, and then you had those that just followed their friends hoping to ‘stick together’ (which defeats the purpose of hiding well in this game.) 

I remember playing Spotlight at Circle Square Ranch when I was around twelve years old. What was CSR you might ask? It was a fun Christian summer camp where kids from all over could ride horses, go canoeing, explore trails and so much more. I remember one night we had a huge game of spotlight, with about fifty youth or more. Everyone fanned out into the deep woods off Fowlers Rd, and hid from the multiple spot lighters. 

After a long time of hiding, I was finally caught. I remember thinking at the time that I was the only one left, however there was one guy that still hadn’t been found (I think his name was “Chickadee”.) Anyway, after about an hour or so, everyone bound together and finally found him – he was about 20 feet up in a tree. 

Now Newfoundland doesn’t have the best of climbing trees. Our trees are packed together in the woods, and are usually really bad for climbing (at least from my own experience.) So when we saw this guy 20 feet up, everyone was amazed that he actually got up there – I don’t think anyone cared that he was the last to get caught.

These memories came back today as I listened to my own children play hide and seek in our house. Their version, however, needed some restructuring. For instance, every time the twins would be in their hiding spot, they would announce to my oldest son and daughter that they were ready. 

Sound detection is a dead give away.

Another point they needed some guidance on was when the seeker would start, the hiders would request more time in order to hide properly. Again, giving away their location at the start. It was quite hilarious though, listening to them use their manners. 

Seeker: “Ready, here I come!” (Notice it wasn’t, Ready or Not!”)

To which someone would reply, “No, I am not ready yet. “

To which the seeker responded, “Okay, sorry, two more minutes.”

Really? Saying ‘sorry’ when playing Hide and Seek! 

Not like the good ol’ days.  

Remembering Your Promises

“Pinky swear?”

“Yes, pinky swear.”

Thus joined the union of the pinkies. <Is this really a word?

I remember linking my pinky finger to my sons, when I promised that we would have a game of Minecraft together after a hard day of doing chores. After we finished our chores, Benaiah promptly reminded me of our agreement, adding, “Dad, you pinky swore!”

The ultimate physical bond of a child – where trust becomes law, once the pinkies are joined in unison. It’s funny though, I don’t recall either myself or a friend breaking a pinky promise growing up. It was almost like…unforgivable if you broke it. 

I am reminded of the line from Disney’s 1968 film, Blackbeard’s Ghost, when Blackbeard says, “My word, sir, is the ultimate warranty.” Quite funny coming from a pirate, who constantly betrayed people and would use burning bomb fuses as terror cosmetics under his hat. But the quote still stands. 

Our word is supposed to be the ultimate warranty.

One hundred years ago, many people believed this concept. Men and women would shake hands and the deal would be done. 

Thousands of years ago, a man would take off his sandal, exchange it with another man (in front of witnesses) thus sealing their agreement or contract verbally. The shoe or sandal was worthless, it was a gesture that I am giving you something in trade as a guarantee to our promise. (Which I would assume left a lot of men with odd sized sandals.)

People understood the value of someone’s words. 

Present day. 

Someone’s word doesn’t mean much anymore. Have a look at this survey. Pay close attention to the ages and trust level.

Whether it’s the contractor trying to pull a fast one on you, or the spouse who promises “Till death do us part ” and yet cheats with a total stranger (OUCH!) – for a lot of people, the quality of words is sadly cheap and fleeting at best. 


“What do you mean ‘why’, Christian?”

I mean why? Why is it that so many people these days break their word and are unfaithful under oath, contract, or verbal agreement? Why is it that the older generation were more trusting, while those in their 60’s and down have lower trust levels?

I would argue this – the belief is mostly gone, that there is anyone else higher, or involved, between them and the other party. 

Often God was viewed as the catalyst in society that kept people honest. It wasn’t just that person you were breaking the agreement with, you were also breaking it with God. After all, your word was otten sworn unto – you guessed it – God. 

Have a look at the history of wedding vows. 

Have a look at the court of law. 

“To tell the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.”

Firm foundation of trust placed firstly in God.

Good friends of ours told us the key to a successful marriage about 12 years ago. 

“Your marriage is like a triangle – God is at the top, and you are on one corner and your spouse on the other. As you draw closer to God, He will draw you both together.” That doesn’t mean we don’t fight, argue or say stupid things to each other. But it does mean we are rooted under someone higher than ourselves. So much so, there are times I have apologized not because I thought my spouse deserved it, but because I know God expected that of me. Because lets be honest, how many of you spouses out there wish that sometimes you could knock out your significant either?


On the flip side: If you leave no connection with God, what is going to hold your bond together when the storms come? Your words? Yeah, I don’t put much stake in my own, how can I depend on someone else’s when it really gets rough? 

(A lot of questions on this blog, I know! Yeessh, what a wiener.)

We need to get back to the basics that formed our Western Christian societies in the first place. We are surrounded by people who are trying to: erase certain parts of history, replace core values in society, and devalue the bonds that knit us together for hundreds of years. 

We need our trustworthy word back. 

This morning I read Deuteronomy 2 in my Bible. Sometimes I have struggled to read the Old Testament Torah (due to it being dry at times) however there are some really great passages in there. One such passage is when Moses was being led by the Lord out of the Wilderness and towards the Promised Land with the Israelites. At one point, they were passing through Moab and the Lord told Moses not to bother or fight against the Ammonites (who were descendants of Lot).

(If you are wondering who Lot is, he was the nephew of Abraham and the main guy in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Before these two cities had been destroyed, Lot was talking to Abraham and asked for a portion of the land to be his, and Abraham sought the Lord and agreed to it.)

So here were descendants of Lot, who were living in the land that the Lord Yet, even though God was leading Moses and the Israelites, and they had conquered town after town before this place, God would not allow them to fight with the Ammonites. 

God was keeping His promise from hundreds of years earlier. 

His Word is the ultimate warranty. 

The Ammonites were wicked, evil people at this point. Idol worshippers, and everything opposite of who the Israelites were. Yet God spoke with such authority to Moses, “ I have given the land of Ammon to them as their property, and I will not give you any of their land.”

Case closed. Promise kept. 

We all need a reminder to watch our words, and when we do promise something – stick with it.

I leave us with this word from Jesus, “But let your word ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ be ‘No’ – anything more than this is from the evil one.” Matthew 5:37


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