HFBC Men's Retreat 2013The first time that I played a “Where’s Waldo?” picture puzzle was in the United Kingdom.  Our children were all in grade school.  We did not have a TV due to the high British tax.  Instead, we found creative ways to spend our family time.

One of the ways that we spent time together was solving “Where’s Waldo?” picture puzzles together.  Of course I had to referee the children when began pulling the book into their lap while trying to scour the flood of cartoon characters in hopes of spotting the elusive Waldo.

If was fun holding the book in my lap.  Each of the children crawled all over me trying peer on to the page at hand.  Some times it was a big scene from a historic period.

Once we looked at a picture of ancient Egypt.  Another time it was from the exotic continent of Africa.  Yet another time it was a picture from the splendid continent of Asia.

Each picture was flooded with countless people.  Some were dressed in work clothes, others in show costumes and still others in every day garments of people from that period in history.  But, there were so many that it required deliberate concentration to pick out the needle in the haystack.

On more than one occasion someone would shout out that they had found Waldo in the crowd.  They would grab the book and promptly lose the place where the saw the cartoon celebrity.  Of course accusations would fly in the middle of shoving and pushing.  Naturally, my head was often the innocent bystander of those flying little slaps, pushes and punches.  You gotta love family time!

Once I restored peace we were all back staring and blinking through the myriad of people.  We were trying to spot that famous striped shirt, the googly black glasses, distinctive knit cap and silly grin.  After a successful location, I would memorize the spot, set it in context so that I could easily find him again.

Quietly but assuredly I would announce that I had found him.  Faces of my little  family would press their cheeks against mine.  They would try to see right where I was looking.

Little fingers pointed.  I gave them clues.  Slowly they would make their way to the spot.  Eureka!  They each found Waldo!

Can you find me? This is our Men’s Retreat at Houston’s First Baptist.  I am the one who is  pointing pointing directly at you!

photo credit: HFBC archive photo