Monday, November 30, 2009

Ollie Ollie Umfumfree

My wife grew up playing hide and know where everyone hides, one person looks for the others then when only one or two are left (because they are the best hiders or they feel asleep) the seeker calls out "Ollie Ollie umfumfree." Huh?

When I was growing up I, too, played hide and seek. But when only one or two hiders were left, we called out, "All the other outs are free."

Can you see what happened? For some kids, my wife included, they were yelling out a variation of the actual know like the gossip game where a rumor is started and goes through a group and by the time it gets to the last person it is nothing like the rumor that was started....anyways....there was one person who said, "All the other outs are free," then through generations of kids it was transformed to "Ollie, Ollie Umphumfree," which means...well...nothing....Umfumfree is not a word. But if you ask my wife, it is a word...well it means something to her, anyway.

Religion is like that. At some point, there was a guy, let's say, Jesus, who said some really cool things that were meaningful and life changing. Then, generations of people morphed his message into something it was never intended to be, examined it for meaning, context...blah, blah, blah...and came up with something different. Then more generations took those morphed beliefs as their gospel (pun intended) and started morphing that into their own gospel. So here we are, generations from the message...but what is the message? Have we lost what the cool guy in the beginning said? Have we lost that life transforming message for a "sound alike?"

What did you say at the end of a round of hide and seek? And what is the correct spelling of that "word?"


  1. As I read this, I was reminded of Charlie Brown's teacher. We never knew what she was saying because it sounded something like, "Waaahh, Wuuahhh, Woooah, Wahh Wah." (Sorry... that's what came to mind - lol)
    Yes. We have lost the Truth of the Message. It has so morphed that sadly, today, many can walk into a 'house of God' and find persuasive words, but no power. And people are leaving those buildings wondering why their lives remain in turmoil and where is the love and the peace and the power of God.
    Good points. Good blog!
    Oh, and our word was "Ollie-ollie-oxen-free" which I found later to mean "All ye - all ye - all come free".

  2. Ollie Ollie OxenFree is the word we used actually. i've never understood what it was supposed to mean other than, let's start again.