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Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Easter Hunt

When I was a kid, one of my fondest memories of Easter was the game of hidden notes in my grandparents' mansion.  At the start of the game, my siblings and I would be given the first index card with a riddle on it.  The riddle was a clue to help us find the next index card somewhere in the house-- which contained another riddle that lead to the next riddle, and so on.  What absolute fun and excitement as we ran through the house, up and down the stairs, room to room, closet to closet to find our hidden clues.  At the end of the riddle trail was our Easter Treasure -- huge Easter baskets filled with candy and often times a huge toy.  One year, my sister and I were given a Cabbage Patch Doll!  (I'm dating myself now! ;)

What I loved most about this game is the effort that went into it by my grandparents and aunt who created it for us.  They could have very easily just handed our gifts to us and said, "Happy Easter!"  It would have still been a treasure to us and we would have still greatly appreciated it, but they chose to create an adventure for us as well.  They knew that the grand prize would be worth that much more and received with an even greater excitement if we had the opportunity to seek it out.  And, boy, am I glad they did. 

What's interesting, too, is that when I remember those Easters, I don't think about what I received at the end as much as I remember enjoying the journey to get to the end.  It was the journey that made the end that much sweeter.  It was the journey that I tell people about the most.

And, what a cool Dad we have in heaven who understands this concept.  He doesn't save us and then zap us to heaven instantaneously. (Though, for some people, I'm sure He has!)  For most of us, He gives us the joy of experiencing a Journey before we receive our Grand Prize.  He leads us with 'clues' and 'playful riddles'.  And, if we are childlike and have eyes to see, we will know that this Journey is part of the Gift itself.  The seeking and finding builds our excitement.  It fills us with pure laughter as we discover Him along the way.  It gives us a chance to find Him in places we'd never thought to look before.  It gives us a chance to feel the wonder and ever-growing anticipation that, though we haven't yet received it, the end is going to be amazing!  It is the Journey that makes the end that much sweeter.

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