Remember that one? It once may have come from our own mouth, even as adult-children of God.
Catching a three year old (my great grandson) in an open field of high grass may be very complicated. Think of a puppy dog of the same relative age who grabs your sock and then tears out the doggie door. Both Tasha and Eli ultimately want to be caught. They peek from behind the bushes to see if you are following – just enough for you to catch a glimpse of them; then off again.
In all of us there is a certain puppy-dog joy in “the pursuit”. It ends with that happy “gotcha” embrace that says “I will never let you get away”. We children all need that. I suspect that, while God may not need the exercise, he desires for us, early on, to move in our own direction (perhaps even playfully peek out at Him) allowing that there will always be that tender mutual embrace when we are discovered in the field, and off the path.
We are reinforced by the exercise; that, while there is a display of choices that form learning experiences for us concerning and revealing our own nature, in the end it is a fundamental lesson about the corresponding nature of every father’s love.
Catch me if you can? God certainly can at anytime he wants. There is no place secret enough to hide. He reminds us of the fear that comes from straying too far away that we lose ourselves. His glorious smile appears as we turn to Him of our own accord, cautious always that we never lose sight of Him…. and longing for His arms around us.
The ultimate experience, that must eventually come within a growing child, is one where he and God bolt through the “doggie door” of life together, but rather, he then declares to the entire world “you can’t catch us, we are too fast and too familiar with the territory: Way too joined together to separate. He always knows where Home is. We are one, and indivisible” (I’m not sure that Eli would use that word, but he does have a couple of big ones).