The year my oldest son was born, 1987, was the same year that a Waldo was turned loose upon the planet. People have been looking for him ever since. We have for different, “Where’s Waldo?” books on the shelves with the books we kept form our kids childhood (which is all the books). I have spent hours with my boys in my lap watching as they trace their finger across the page trying to find the elusive Waldo.
The pictures frequently had eye traps designed to fool the reader into mis-identifying the elusive traveler. His books spawned an empire and a TV series. I had lost touch with Waldo and had not even wondered about his location for a number of years.
Three weeks ago I was in Austin. Cindy and I were walking with friends when it happened. Waldo came walking out of a cafe. There he was just standing on the street. After such a long and meticulous examination he was in Austin. We were all stunned. Then we jumped into action. They sent me.
“Could we take our picture with you?”
He smiled, “Yes.”
The next time I’m on game show and they ask, “Where’s Waldo?” Il’l be able to answer definitely, Austin, Texas.”
Looking, seeking and finding-that is the journey of life. It starts when we are young as we explore the world. We see, we hear, we touch, we sniff, we taste (always with babies is the taste and the drool). Then we advance and explore further afield. We ask the questions, “Why?” “Where?” "When?” and there always seems to be another question. Then we start to ponder the deeper questions of life, faith and pain.
Sometimes we settle on and answer and it is a watershed for life. Other times we rivets the question over and over turning it in our minds. Occasionally we just stuff the question down deep in our soul and try to ignore it. Then come the surprising moments when the encounter with life posits and answer to a deep question. We watch someone suffering in grace and we are able to trust God a little more. We see the rippling consequences of actions and realize that life does not feel very accidental, but instead it feels like we have been created for a purpose. Then our deeps doubts are revealed and faith hangs in the balance and a moment of transendence a momentary miracle occurs and we are brought back to Jesus fresh and new.
Last week we met the risen Lord on the shore of the sea of Galilee. He did not announce himself with a band or a parade, but a bit of fish cooked over a fire. It was in the ordinary grace that they reconnected with Jesus. It was in going back to where it all began that they found Jesus. The women answered the disciples when they wondered where Jesus was saying, “He is in Galilee.”
Maybe you need to look for Jesus again where you met him the first time. He has something to share with you, friendship and love and he is waiting for you there.