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You're It!
Photo: Goh Siok hian
How long has it been since you played a good game of hide-and-seek? I'm not talking about finding a comfy hiding place and camping out there until the other players get tired of the game and you're off the hook. I'm talking about a rousing, daring, involved game. You know, the kind where your heart pounds faster and faster as you silently hear your pursuer approaching. Finally, at just the critical moment, you dash out and take a run for it, feeling prickly pins in your backside all the way to base! When you reach your destination, you scream wildly, "Safe! Safe!

I had this experience recently, and I can't say how invigorating it was! The running itself wasn't the most energizing part. It was the suspense! It was that youthful "you can't catch me" challenge that filled my veins with life. You may not be able to run as fast as you did when you played hide-and-seek as a kid, but speed isn't everything. And neither is winning. It's the chase that really brings out the kid again. Distance isn't an issue since hide-and-seek can be played in the house with just a few rooms. In fact, it's more challenging because you have to be even quieter.

Excitement for Everyone

If you haven't tried it in a while, go for it! It doesn't matter what player you happen to be. The excitement is there for everyone. For example, if you're "it", you have the challenge of keeping your eyes closed and staying on base, knowing that the others are busily finding their hiding places. And guess what? It's just as tempting to peek now as it was back then! On the other hand, if you're one of the ones hiding, you experience the adrenaline rush in finding your special spot, changing your mind at the last minute, and then dashing to another one, hoping the person who is "it" didn't see you. Then if you happen to be hiding with another person, you have the whole "sshhh…be quiet" thing going on.

Staying young depends a lot on choices, many which involve exercise and diet. But once in a while, an innocent dash to childhood can be just what the doctor ordered. Lucia Capocchione said, "Play keeps us vital and alive. It gives us an enthusiasm for life that is irreplaceable. Without it, life just doesn't taste good." The psalmist said to "taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psalm 34:8). I can imagine Jesus enjoying the thrill of childhood play, and I kept help thinking He would recommend it for us.

So, take some time for play. If hide-and-seek doesn't work for you, try another game. But make sure it has a good dose of pure excitement in it. You're it!

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By Gwen Scott Simmons. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture take from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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