My parents divorced when I was eight years old. Afterward, my mom, my sister and I moved to a smaller home in a neighborhood I didn’t know all that well.
When a kid befriended me and took me to a "secret fort" inside some bushes a couple of blocks from my new home, it became my hiding place — the place I could crawl into and nobody could see me. I could think, dream, relax, and frankly, hide from the rest of the world whenever I needed to.
The summer before I started high school, my hiding place was behind my former grade school. I hit a tennis ball against the brick wall back there thousands of times in preparation for upcoming tennis team tryouts.
I had no way of knowing I wouldn’t really need to try out. My high school didn’t have a good tennis team. The coach usually just needed willing participants. I’m glad I didn’t know that, though. The work I put in behind that school was worth it. It was long, hard, sweaty work, but it made me better in every way.
Eight or nine years ago, a friend invited me out to central Nebraska for a fishing excursion over Memorial Day weekend. He had just purchased a small cabin in the woods and I loved everything about the place. Well, except for the lack of running water, the lack of electricity, and the outhouse. Don’t get me started on the outhouse.
You could take maybe fifty steps from the cabin and arrive at the fishing hole you see pictured above. The water was always calm. The trees offered ample shade. And we always caught fish, which is as close to a miracle as possible, given our lack of fishing success elsewhere.
My buddy sold that little piece of paradise a couple of years ago, so I’m looking for a new hiding place. But in reality, I expect it to find me, if I keep my eyes open.
Hiding places are free from distraction, free from judgment and free from expectation. You just show up and it begins to refresh you. Then you think about the Creator of such a place and a sense of wonder and connection with Him washes over you.