Have you ever gone on a God Hunt? A God Hunt begins when you teach yourself to look for God’s hand at work in the every day occurrences of your life. Here’s one of my personal God Hunt Sightings:
Sometimes I come to mental conclusions that are not the right conclusions. I suppose everyone does this; certain evidence points in a certain direction, and we make snap judgments based on that evidence. This satisfies us. We feel smug in knowing what we know (not knowing that we are wrong).
The problem is that I recognize this tendency in myself, and I need to not allow myself to nurse this tendency. I need to press myself to do a little more research, What else do you need to know? If you dig a little harder and find out other realities, will you make your mind up in another direction? How do you know for a certainty that this conclusion is the right conclusion?
Take the water softener, for instance. We have well water that is high in iron content. Two summers ago, after the flood in our basement caused by the storm that knocked out the power in hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans’ homes, I had the water pump replaced, and the plumber also suggested that due to the age of the water heater, it could spring a leak that would leave me with more flooding in the basement. So, we bought a new water heater and he installed it.
“Anything else?” I asked, knowing that other repairs would only help his financial bottom line, but he had been extremely helpful, tutoring me in the whole water system in my home, what did what, what could be improved, etc. “For instance, your water softener is so old, it’s not really doing anything. The best thing you can do right now is disconnect it and buy a new softener.” He made his point, showing me the iron in a water test he performed, and truthfully, with black silt in the water that turned grey in my tub and the kitchen sink, with the sulfur odor when we turned on taps, and with the fact that we chose never to drink the house water, only clean with it, the plumber guy didn’t have to do much convincing.
He gave me the estimate I asked for, which totaled about $3,500. I researched water softeners, looked into saltless tanks, called another company who sent out a another water guy, who took the same water test, informed me of what I already knew, that we had a high level of iron in our water. He also gave me an estimate of around $3,500.
So, I concluded that a new water softener would have to wait. There was no way we were going to cough up $3,500—but every time I took a bath I rued this forced decision and the fact that we did not have excess funds to fix this problem. “Money for a water softener” is actually on my list of prayer requests.
I kept meaning to call DuPage Water Systems, the company that had installed our original tank, but it wasn’t until Mike Teague, the builder who has been replacing our toilets, said, “Boy, is your water bad. Those innards, that tubing are filled with rust! Why don’tcha do somethun’ about your softener system?”
I explained that our financial reserves were depleted (annoyed slightly that he with the construction industry floundering in this economy wasn’t more sympathetic). I told him what I had discovered in my two responsible-homeowner inspections and estimates.
“Yeah. Well, why don’tcha call DuPage Water Systems? They’re close. Maybe they gotta payment plan or somethun’.”
So I did. DuPage Water Systems was having a sale—great timing, said the sales guy. Nor would they charge for installation. In addition, because I was a previous customer, they’d take 15% off and throw in the first blocks of salt as a courtesy. The total was $1,500 (plus another $15 because I put it on our MasterCard and they pass the merchant’s fee along to the user).
They are installing the new water-softener tank this morning.
I’ve gone for almost two years with wretched water, with having to Lysol the toilets every few days instead of once a week, wondering if my skin was itchy because of the black residue that turned the tub grey simply because I got lazy and didn’t listen to that inner nudge: Why don’t you call DuPage Water? (I pass this company frequently as I drive, and it was the name on the old tank that had been disconnected.)
God is patient with us, isn’t He? I just needed two broken toilets being replaced with new ones (both fast-flush that only use 1.5 gallons of water) and a builder who couldn’t see the sense in going to the work of installing an almost new bathroom, new plumbing lines and have them corrode with rust in a few years. One more phone call and I might have had this hard-water problem fixed two years ago.
But, I got another chance, another chance to correct my miscalculation. Mike, the builder, just talked sense. Oh, for more concrete thinkers in my life—Why don’t cha just…? I might not come to as many erroneous decisions as I am inclined to come to.
Sometimes God is a Divine Nag—but that’s OK. He knows what’s good for us. I spy God!
Award-winning author Karen Mains has long had an interest in spiritual formation and the obedient Christian walk. She has written about the God Hunt in her book by the same name, The God Hunt: The Delightful Chase and the Wonder of Being Found. A hardback copy can be ordered from Mainstay Ministries for $10.00 plus $4.95 shipping and handling. Contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be happy to autograph a copy for you.
Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags, Africa bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
For decades, Karen and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. They are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and congregations at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.