Olly, Olly Oxen Free!

The logic of worldly success rests on a fallacy – the strange error that our perfection depends on the thoughts and opinions and applause of others. A weird life it is to be living always in somebody else’s imagination, as if that were the only place in which one could become real. ~ Thomas Merton

I loved to play Hide and Seek when I was little. I especially loved it on summer evenings when the backyard was full of lightning bugs. I would pretend they were tiny lamps, guiding me to secret hiding places.

As I grew up, I didn’t have lightning bugs to follow anymore. Instead, I depended on the thoughts and opinions of others to show me when it was time for the real me to go into hiding. Sometimes I would hide for a very long time.

Occasionally, I’d venture out with a real confession of sin or struggle. Most often, these vulnerable moments were greeted with sigh and a look of disappointment, accompanied by scriptural encouragement or constructive criticism that would send me back to a yet more deeply hidden place.

My heart longed for a hearty hug and an exclamation of: Oh, it’s the real you at last! I’m so glad you’ve come! That’s happened on occasion throughout the years. Those are the people I continue to know as dear friends today.

At the end of Hide and Seek, the one who’s it calls out: Olly, Olly Oxen Free! to indicate that anyone who’s still hiding can safely come out into the open.

There’s no place and no reason to hide once grace fills the yard. Every moment of everyday the Father (who is It) is calling: Olly, Olly Oxen Free! He’s always waiting with a hearty hug and the cherished words: It’s the real you at last! I’m so glad you’ve come!

~ rv – revised version of a previous post

Author: Debbie

A former counselor and public speaker, I'm grateful for many, many things - God's grace most of all!

16 thoughts on “Olly, Olly Oxen Free!”

  1. You’re safe! Be who you are, where you are! Loved the message. Reminded me of my youth and how I’m learning to live in the Room of Grace, not the Room of Good Intentions anymore. Blessings, friend. Sharon

    1. Oh, I like that Sharon – the Room of Grace not the Room of Good Intentions. I’ll remember that, and hopefully apply it.
      Thank you, friend,
      ~ Debbie

    1. Oh Gaye, dear friend, I do love you. Thank you for accepting the real me. You’ve had large doses of me at my worst and still haven’t gone into hiding! 😀
      ~ Debbie

  2. I just love ALL your posts my dear. Makes me sad you felt you had to hide so much. Wow just imagine how much they missed out on the real YOU as well as what you missed about yourself. I’m so grateful God broke through so that we all could get to see ..you. I love who you are and am so ever blessed but I do miss your presence.

    Great to hear from Darrel.

    1. Darrel – funny you should ask since I was just wondering that about you when you read my post at 3 a.m.! I’m from Iowa, most recently Oregon and a temporary resident of Texas. Where in the world are you? 😉

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