“Luke where are you?!” I hollered in a frenzy as I searched for my eight year old son. My son, my father, and I were all in eastern Oregon deer hunting and now my son was nowhere to be found.
That morning I had hit a deer and we were trying to find it. As we searched, my dad and I decided to split up and Luke would search for the deer with me. At eight years old he has different fears and right then I realized he was scared of the sound of the gun.
He didn’t want to be next to me so I agreed that he could stay back a little. As I moved through the sage I was so focused on finding the deer that I didn’t turn back to see if Luke was still behind me. Cue father of the year award. As I turned back around he was gone! My mind whirled, I can’t shoot and I am a crappy dad.
Frantically hollering his name and searching, I cared nothing for the deer and everything about my boy. “Luke!” I yelled, now not being able to hold back tears. What seemed like hours later was only a few minutes. My dad bellowed, “I see him! He is coming towards me.” As I walked over the small ridge I found my son.
“Could you hear me, Luke?” I asked trying to not lose my temper. I quickly learned that he could hear me, but was afraid that he would get in trouble. It reminded me a lot of the story of Adam and Eve. They had just eaten the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and God comes to the garden to walk with them like He has done every evening. What do they do? They hide.
God is hollering for them and they hide in their shame. A really effective game of hide and go seek when you play with omniscient and omnipresent Deity.
On the path to your dreams, you are going to screw up a lot. Sometimes by mistakes and sometimes in sin you will screw up. I know because I am like a professional at failing. The key is to fail forward. In those moments your human nature to cover and hide will kick in. Hidden failure will not help you move forward. It keeps you lost in the desert of eastern Oregon while your dad cries and imagines the worst case scenarios.
The simplest and hardest thing to do is to “holler back.”
First, hollering back to God, “Here I am! Here I am God in all of my mistakes and sin. Here I am in my failure. Here I am, forgive me. Here I am, help me overcome.” In our low moments we need to take our burdens to the cross instead of hiding them and pretending like we are fine. When we bring them to God He will be faithful to draw near to us.
The second place we need to holler back is to people. You don’t need to drop your baggage on the doorstep of every person, however, you do need to tell a small band of people. In those moments that you share your full self and your mighty men love you anyways and remind you that a moment in time does not form your identity. They remind you of who you are in Christ and they set your feet back on solid ground.
Only when we holler back can we fail forward. Only when we walk in humility can we move on. The very thing that at moments feels like the opposite of healing is the very thing that moves us towards wholeness. Hiding takes more effort and steals more life than any other activity we humans do. Be you, be strong and courageous and your dreams will come to fruition. Be blessed on your journey.
Questions to Ponder:
When are you tempted to hide from God?
When are you tempted to hide from your peers?
Prayer: God, forgive me for hiding. I want to be transparent with you and others. Give me courage and help me to find people I can share my true self to in my worst moments and my best. Help me to move in spite of failure. Amen.
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