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A Slice Of Life To Go is an online Christian blog written by Todd Thompson. It encourages people to see the beauty in ordinary moments and to know God’s unconditional, unfailing love in everyday life.

Hunting For Easter

March 29th, 2002

Last week I got to take my girls to play group for the first time. Usually it’s the Mommy that takes kids to play group but this day Daddy got to go.

It was great fun to watch all the little ones play. It was at the Kaylor’s and we had an Easter egg hunt. Todd and I hid the eggs in the backyard. We put them in secret places like out in the middle of the grass under a plastic bucket from the sandbox. Or out in the middle of the grass under nothing at all. (These are toddlers, remember.) Some of the older kids who have developed their chocolate instinct had the “hunt and gather” objective down cold.

At 17 months of age, my girls saw the game differently. Annie found an egg, put it in her basket, took it out and put it back. The same egg over and over and over. Emma was happy to wander around with her empty basket full of green plastic grass until a charitable adult put some eggs in it for her. Then she sat down on the lawn and contentedly tried to open them, occasionally succeeding in spilling Cheerios and M&M’s on her lap.

Easter egg hunts were different when I was a kid. Easter in Iowa means you may have a 60 degree day or you might have a snowstorm. More often than not the cold weather necessitated that Easter eggs be hidden inside the house. My parents would hide the eggs, certain they would remember where they put them all. Inevitably, after my sister and I finished hunting, one would be missing. We’d usually find it some time in May, buried in a potted plant or on top a window sill. When Mom saw us carrying it toward her she acted like we were holding a live grenade. “Don’t drop it! It’ll break and stink to high heaven!”

When most of us think of Easter we think of hunting for eggs and eating candy. Today we have Cadbury Cream eggs and Snickers eggs and Dove Bar eggs and Caramel eggs. I don’t recall such a variety of Easter candy when I was a kid. We had hollow chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, chocolate eggs, and those speckled malted milk balls that whitewashed your palm if you held them too long.

Oh, and there were Peeps. Yellow gooey crystallized sugar chicks. You realize, of course, there’s no such thing as “fresh Peeps”. When your ingredients are sugar and preservatives, you have no need of an expiration date. Whatever they don’t sell this year they put back in the warehouse and bring out next year. Peeps last forever. Today some of you will go home and eat Peeps that date back to the Reagan administration. On the periodic table, Peeps have the same half-life as uranium and almost as much flavor. Here’s a household tip: If you have any left over, they’re great for weather proofing those little holes around your windows and door jams.

At Christmas we hear the phrase “Remember the Reason for the Season”. It’s a catchy way of reminding people not to lose focus on the true meaning of the holiday. Around this time of year you will hear similar sentiments about Easter. There are gentle reminders and we all need those. Then there are those who decry everything with hollow ears and wrapped in foil. To hear the way some people attack Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny you’d think they were evil co-conspirators of commercialism; the authors of a devious plot to subvert the meaning of Christmas and Easter by drugging us all with fruitcake and chocolate so we will forget about the baby in the manger who grew up to die on the cross and rise from the dead.

The fact is, God isn’t competing with anyone. He doesn’t have a complaint against Santa. Or a gripe against the Easter bunny. The wonderful traditions of giving gifts and eating chocolate rabbits and hunting for eggs doesn’t change or dilute the reality of a loving God who cares about us so much that He died for us and rose from the dead to give us life forever.

We are, each in our own way, hunting for Easter. God knows that. He says to seek. To keep hunting. And when we do, we’ll find Him. The cool part is He doesn’t make it difficult. Because He knows we’re just kids. He’s right out there in the open for us to find. Just like the plastic eggs in the grass at play group.

“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!” – Luke 24:5b-6a