Olly Olly in Come Free

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Hide and Seek. What a fun game if all the conditions are right. Don’t you think?

My early pre-school attempts at the game found me standing in the middle of the yard in full view of everyone with my eyes closed. I couldn’t see them so they couldn’t see me, right? Wrong.

By elementary school, I knew enough to hide. There were a dozen of us kids from four houses who enjoyed playing hide and seek on dark summer nights. One problem though, was when the older kids decided it would be more fun to include the ravine that sat behind all our houses as a place to hide.

The ravine that held copperhead snakes.

The ravine that dipped to a treacherous bottom that made the climb back up difficult.

The ravine covered with tree roots, large rocks, poison oak, and who knows what else, that waited to snag an unsuspecting sneaker and fling its owner to the ground with a thud.


The ravine my best friend and I were scared of at dark. The ravine we hid in together to stay safe. The ravine we tugged the other through to reach home base so we wouldn’t be left alone, or until the person who was It called “Olly olly in come free.”

Sometimes I ended up being the Seeker, It. Let me tell you I dreaded that. Those wily junior high kids sure could zip to safety without me ever getting to base first. There was too much territory to search through. I wasn’t fond of going beyond the glow of the back porch light to look behind trees. And I definitely did not like it when everyone got home free and I had to be It. Again.

Whenever I got stuck being the Seeker several times in a row, Butter, bless his soul, sympathized and took my place. Besides, he knew where the other older kids hid and could out run them. Even the couple who preferred to stay together in their hiding spot looong after the game was over.

Some nights I didn’t want to keep seeking. I didn’t want to stare into the dark abyss and search for people who could see me but whom I couldn’t see.

I didn’t want to keep rushing to home base, only to trip and fall over rocks in my path. I didn’t want to keep getting beat by those who weren’t afraid of snakes, or tree roots, or scary sounds in the night.

My heart was no longer in the game. I wanted to give up and go back home.

The Bible says when we seek God with all our heart, we’ll find him.

Unlike hiders in a game, God doesn’t make us dodge boulders, tree roots, snakes and darkness in our search for him. He stands out in the open light for everyone to find.

Jesus doesn’t run faster than we can to beat us to home base. He waits with open arms. Arms that stretched all the way across the rough beams of a cross on the hill called Calvary so we could go home free.

And like my brother, Jesus takes over when we’re too tired, too afraid, too defeated to keep going.

This life we travel is full of ravines populated with tree roots, boulders, snakes, darkness and scary noises, is it not?

Fortunately, we don’t have to travel it alone. Jesus wants to go with us and make sure we reach home safe and sound. Once we seek him with all our heart, he will be found.

Jesus is the True One who calls out, “Olly olly in come free” and means it. There is no reason to hide from him.

Any Hide and Seek adventures you’d like to share?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this please share it through the social media buttons.

You will look for Me and find Me, when you look for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13 (NLV)

I wish you well.


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4 thoughts on “Olly Olly in Come Free

  1. Loved this one. One more thought. I’m sorry about my last post(yesterday). The ark in the mud hit me where I was. I was just venting. I guess you were my ventee. Sometimes we cannot see God for the forest or the trees and we forget that he is always there. God is good all the time, even when we think he is hiding.


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