As I roller coaster through the amusement park of life past the sideshows of a bearded lady, the two headed cow and the tattooed sword swallowing vicar I realize again.. LIFE IS A RIDE.
My rollercoaster existence leaves me at times exhilarated while other times ready to BARF. These twists and turns in my life do expose my Dr Jeffrey and Mr. Hide (like a less sinister version of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde) personality quirks. I am Dr Jeffrey when all is good, but Mr Hide rears his ugly face when the rollercoaster dips or there is a big bend up ahead. AND yes I did mean to say Mr. Hide (not Hyde).. I mean ‘good grief I am cartoonist not a monster’.
My alter ego Mr. Hide unfortunately appears when my -I'm ok facade- is threatened to be exposed by my life long collection of insecurities, mistakes and bad choices. Better to hide and live to fight another day.. or something like that.
Surprise.. I am not the first! Ever since the original sin, man has chose to hide. In the Garden of Eden Eve listened to the snake, Adam listened to Eve (cuz he was afraid of her disapproving wife look) and collectively both were in direct disobedience of God’s command to not eat the fruit from the Tree of Good & Evil. So… they hid, and as we all know when playing Hide & Seek with God you always lose. I mean, hey being omnipresent is big advantage.
Now fast forward a bazillion years to today and I find the more things change, the more they stay the same.. except now not only do we attempt to hide from God we hide from each other. You see while I do care if I displease God I must confess I care a great deal what others think of me.
The alter ego Mr. Hide wants others to see him as a success. A man with a career, admired, and a man of status, and dashing good looks. Mr. Hide promotes the illusion that he is confident, funny, never depressed, and has never struggled with substance abuse. Oh there are many other things Mr. Hide hides from others, but you get the idea.
Those who are Ms or Mrs. Hide are equally deft at the art of hiding. Ms Hide wants all to see the illusion of a perfect family. Her husband is admired, beautiful gifted children honor roll kids who are also captain of their sports teams. The family takes fabulous vacations that are the envy of all her peers. BUT.. who could ever guess there are marital problems, troubled teens, and Ms. Hide is far from content. So she hides.
So whether you are Mr. or Ms. Hide this process of hiding is exhausting, and is not what God intended for his clildren. Like I noted earlier with my keen eye for deity detail.. God is omnipresent (he is everywhere) so hiding from him is impossible, BUT just as important is his love is perfect... and his grace is great. He knows us better than we know ourselves, and loves us like the perfect partent. So let's scratch off the thought of hiding from God.
I think having this right thinking about God helps me with right thinking about hiding from others. Of course being discrete and protecting my privacy is smart, but I don't need to hide from others.
1 Corinthians 12:25-26 teaches us.. 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
This being said I cannot control how others view me, but the above scripture is clear instructions where my mindset.
I am not sure how many of you have a HIDE alter ego, but I know our hope and identity lies with God and not man. In all things I pray we love God with all our heart, soul, and mind.. and live out 1 Corinthians 12:25-26.
ps - I think if King Solomon had added an amusement park while building the temple he would have wrote Ecclesiastes using 'my' rollercoaster analogy in mind.
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson