I had Easter dinner with a group of clergy friends and their spouses. We made it an informal potluck, well post-nap time. While we waited for the pork tenderloin to get fully cooked, 6-year-old Ruby invited us to an Easter egg hunt. She pulled back the sheets she had hung to block the living room in a moment worthy of any on-stage “ta-da.”
I don’t think I sighed outwardly when the egg hunt was announced. But all I wanted to do was sit in a comfy chair, sip a glass of bubbly, and recover from the week’s events; it’s hard work raising Jesus from the dead. But when I found my first egg, bright blue and covered in sparkles, my delight was real and not fake. “I found one!” Ruby announced that there was a golden egg with a special prize. We all searched for it.
Ruby had hidden the eggs well. Far better than I would have hidden them for her. One nestled in a bowl in the china cabinet, another was in a purse, there was one under the couch cushions. The golden egg was in an orange Yankee Candle that had a lid on it. When James found it, he lunged across the couch to the side table, “I found it! I found it!”
The game was more fun because it was challenging. We didn’t have to pretend to search. We were really looking. That’s the sweet-spot isn’t it? Where the challenge is what makes the activity fun. Where there’s a pay-off at the end, but not the only joy we experience in the endeavor. Hiking is like that for me, and the creative process. Reaching the mountain top is exhilarating. Having a piece of writing land on just the right audience is satisfying. And I love the discovery and exertion along the way.
Everyday life is not only mountain peaks and egg hunts. Sometimes you have to fill the car with gas, go grocery shopping, and fold laundry. But when we get bored, when life feels dull and only full of drudgery, maybe it’s not just fun we’re missing, but a good challenge. Maybe we’re being called to hunt for a golden egg.