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 everyday occurrences of your life. Here’s one of my personal God Hunt Sightings:
It feels as though I did nothing but hunt for lost and misplaced things all last week. First, I misplaced my black leather satchel I haul to and from work. Securely tucked inside was my irreplaceable prayer journal. I searched the house high and low, checked the corners of my writing study, under the bed, in the closet, the downstairs listening room, the back seat of the car, the trunk of the car—well, you get the idea—a satchel-hunt search yielded nothing. Where could I have left my bag?
I discovered when time came to write these blogs that I am keeping as a spiritual discipline—to record God’s interventions in my everyday life—that I was having trouble remembering where I had seen His hand in the days. Usually, I list in the mornings all these wonderful, funny and amazing interludes that have convinced me in the almost four decades of recording that God is intimately involved in my life.
Oh, Lord, I prayed. You are the finder of lost things; help me to find that satchel—most of all help me to recover my prayer journal.
Even more proof for me that journal-keeping, a formal kind of list-making, is essential if we are to detect and remember the divine interactions with our all-too-human existence.
I lost the blue cash bag from a presentation I had made last Saturday and where I had a table of Global Bag Project products for sale. When I unloaded the car on Saturday afternoon, I remember thinking, I don’t want to leave this cash bag in the open on our office administrator’s desk… And I thought I remembered putting it somewhere—but after that, my memory was just blank. I opened desk drawers, looked on shelves, went through all the speaking folders; nothing. How could it just disappear? There hadn’t been a whole lot of sales—but it held pencils, a small desk calculator—it couldn’t just fall between some crack, could it?
Again the prayer of finding: Oh, Lord, You are the finder of lost things, people and places. What have I done with that money bag?
By now, I was suspecting that there was a theme of sorts developing here. Mains was losing things. So what?
Last week was the week I started to write the book on listening groups, Listening With My Fingertips. I could not find the book that first gave me the idea for that title, and I wanted to include it in my first chapter. I checked the spiritual-growth-books shelves in my writing study, hunted through the bookcases at the office, checked more carefully my books—those piled on surfaces and those stacked at the back of the shelves—nothing.
Lord, maybe I’m not supposed to be writing. If You want me to begin this week in this way, help me to find that resource.
On the way out the back door, one cool morning last week, heading out to do a quick job in the garden, I grabbed a hoodie off a hook in the hall. Lo and behold—there was my satchel. Oh and the journal—the prayer journal was inside. I never hang my work tote on those hooks, but there had been lots of people in the house, and I’d stored it there just to get it out of the way.
One lost thing found.
As I was checking to find the resource for the title Listening With My Fingertips, I decided to search through the library in the little first-floor listening room. There, sitting on a stool, totally nonchalantly as though it had nothing to do but gaze at the ceiling, was my blue cash bag. In plain sight. On top of the pile. Why had I not seen it there before? I had certainly passed by the study; one glance would have revealed its location.
“Oh by the way,” I informed my daughter. “I found the blue cash bag. It was on the stool in the downstairs library. Why on earth did I put it there?”
“Maybe you didn’t,” said my irrepressible Melissa. “Maybe some angel took pity on your always losing things and placed it where you couldn’t ignore it.”
At any rate, with relief that was proportional to replacing thousands of dollars, I turned the $180 over to our office manager this morning.
Finally, while sitting at my writing desk, I realized that a few of the binders of the books in the left-hand pile were facing the window. Turning these right-side out, sure enough, I found the book by Brother David Steindl-Rast, A Listening Heart. The writing proceeds as planned.
So what was the theme, the message important for me to understand, heard through the venue of these three lost things—satchel and cash bag and book? Now that I have time to stop hunting, with the found items in place; now that I have time to listen, the question comes, spoken quietly yet forthrightly, Haven’t you misplaced something important about yourself? Haven’t you lost your way a little? Haven’t you forgotten who it is I have created and expect you to be?
Whoops—with all the activity, the business, the responsibilities, the programs and the plans—I have lost me. I have lost me.
“Almighty and merciful God, in your goodness keep me I pray, from all the things that may hurt me, that I, being ready both in mind and body, may accomplish with a free heart those things which belong to your purpose, through Jesus Christ my Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.”(Morning Office, The Divine Hours, Spring)
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.