Sometimes it may look like something strange is going on in our seemingly empty, dark home. A flashlight beam will bounce across the walls of our living room, bob into the kitchen, then disappear down the stairs and around the corner.
But there is no need to be alarmed. Everything is fine!
We are just enjoying a game of “Spotlight” which is best described as hide-and-go-seek in the dark.
It has been a family favorite of ours for many years. The ideal time to play is during these extended hours of darkness through the winter months when the sun sets before we have even gathered together around the dinner table.
Here’s how to play.
Safety comes first! Make sure walking areas are clear of toys and other tripping hazards. Also ensure all Lego is put away because although it won’t trip you up, it will hurt enough to make you scream (just in case you don’t already know this)!
Divide into two teams (it can be a little scary in the dark) and give everyone a flashlight or cell light to use. The team that hides has forty-five seconds to situate themselves in the perfect hiding spot and switch off their flashlights. Teams can hide together or separately.
The seeking team then exits the counting room (that’s just fancy in our house for washroom) to begin looking. Again, this can be done as a group or divide and conquer.
When the beam of a flashlight illuminates someone they are then considered “found” and you continue until everyone has been caught by the spotlight!
Then start all over as the hiders become the seekers and the seekers get to search for that ideal hiding place.
One evening, the selected spot gave us all a good laugh. Our oldest son was found sitting in the laundry room sink. Not your average hiding spot but when you are surrounded by darkness, it certainly works well AND totally catches your mother off guard!
In time, I realized that this game, with its picture of seeking and finding, walking in darkness, and being found by the light, opens up a unique opportunity to discuss faith with our children.
Here are some wonderful verses to use as discussion starters:
“Jesus spoke to the people and said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5
“I have come into the world as a light so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” John 12:46
“For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness.” Psalm 18:28
“Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.”1John 2:9
“for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” Ephesians 5:8
“But everything exposed by the light becomes visible–and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.” Ephesians 5:13
Finally, in Matthew 7:7, Jesus says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
If we seek Jesus, we will find Him. He has not chosen to hide from us either, He’s right there in the open – the “laundry room sink” if you will! He’s simply waiting for us to come looking for Him and when we do, He promises that we WILL find Him!
But that’s not even all! If we are struggling, just ask for His help and He will meet us in our search!
Of course, this isn’t just for our children. God is also waiting for us. Are you feeling a little lost lately? If so, join me in prayer today.
Heavenly Father, I feel like I have been wandering in the dark, searching for you. Please help me find you. I cling to your promises; when I ask, you will answer. When I seek you, I will find you. Lead me to where you are, Father, I long to be close to you. In the precious name of your Son, Jesus, Amen.
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