The first “Where’s Waldo” book appeared in 1987 and was designed by Martin Hanford who, since childhood, was fond of viewing and drawing crowd scenes. While working as an illustrator a friend recommended that he make one character more colourful than the others. He suggested that as people looked for Waldo they would see the whole drawing more intimately. Hanford began creating books with Waldo visiting famous world destinations and hiding in crowds of locals. Soon, as children and adults alike searched Hanford’s detailed images depicting everyday life, they found themselves declaring excitedly “here he is.” While looking for Waldo, seekers could not help but notice characters at work, play and even in distress.
Can others pick you out of a crowd as being different? Are you able to identify signs in yourself that suggests you are a follower of Christ? Are you able to recognize God’s presence in your life?
God want us to seek Him out. He wants us to discover the promises He has made including the promise to transform us so that we are different from the world around us. He wants us to look for Him so that by doing so we can find our purpose for existence.
The inability to see God generally stems from a complacency to recognize God’s remarkable involvement in ensuring the required circumstances, which exist so that life on earth is possible. Unbelievers do not want to acknowledge God’s role while too many believers take God’s participation for granted. This allows life’s trivial distractions to block their view of God. We live in a remarkably made world and our existence in it seems beyond comprehension. Science tries to use time and coincidence as factors, which allows millions of seemingly, unrelated species of flora and fauna to exist alongside humanity. This theory suggests our existence is the result of an accident and has no higher meaning. If a follower of Christ cannot see a reason for waking each morning nor recognize the incredible complex circumstance behind each breath drawn, they probably will not recognize Jesus even if His cross hit them on their head. If followers fail to understand their own uniqueness has a purpose, then life will be seen as a futile combination of accidents and coincidences. If the creative will of a loving God has no real place in the life of a Christ follower, then they will see no purpose for the people and events they encounter daily.
Initially searching for Waldo was exciting but Hanford realized that as people searched for Waldo they were in fact missing the others who surrounded him; characters drawn with the same love and dedication. To help people see the beauty of all his characters he introduced Wilma, Wenda, Woof and others hoping to get people to look closer at the bigger picture. It did cause people to slow down and see the difference, which contributed to the joy of searching. God similarity surrounds us with people who are unlike us but just as valuable in His eyes. People that we casually encounter each day in our community setting; yet don’t notice because we are often distracted by our own needs. God knows, that often we don’t acknowledge the existence of the business executive, the homeless person, the vendor or the boisterous children whom we see each day; and that is not His will.
The world is colourful and offers excitement and pleasure. However we have been created for more than short bursts of intense emotions. We have been created to become children of God so we can experience His presence for all eternity. In the process of fulfilling our purpose, we have been called to share the news of God’s promises by both our words and our actions. However we will be unable to fulfil our purpose if we are unable to recognize God’s presence in our lives today or in the faces we see each day.
Do you wonder why you chose to follow Jesus?
Do you recognize His presence daily?
Do you think you can do more to find God?