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:
Last week, partly because of so much travel, and partly because of the arthritis that I suspect is beginning to make its home in my body, I just didn’t have the energy to tackle the work that is complaining to me about not getting done.
Moreover, I had volunteered to be in charge of the church potluck. We are just forming missional communities, and each one is delegated to take care of various potluck dates, but because we are all new to this system, I was a little dubious about what kind of help I would have.
Because our church meets in a school gymnasium, most everything we need has to be hauled from our storage trailer or from our homes, then we need to clean up and haul everything back. My list included: pack up coffee pot, creamers, sugar, white mugs and basket for discards; pull three bins down from the attic, which store 100 rattan serving plates, paper plates, plastic silver already rolled in napkins, tablecloths; clean off outside lanterns and stand; refill salt and pepper shakers, spoon brown sugar in a crock and chopped nuts in a bowl; load up roasting pans with 50 aluminum-foil covered sweet potatoes. Needless to say, our car was full.
A Potato Bar had sounded good for a March Sunday that was still very much in the throes of winter weather, so I posted a menu via e-mail and then tried not to worry if we would have enough food.
Baked potatoes (white and sweet)
Toppings: warmed crock-pot cheese spread
Chili for topping
Chopped chives, onions, cilantro, tomatoes
Brown sugar (for sweet potatoes)
French bread with hard crust (with easy-spread butter)
Green salad or fresh cut vegetables with dressing or dip
Bottles of iced tea
Dessert: cookies and fresh fruit
As potluck dinners go, at least those that are informally planned, we had more than enough of some items (LOTS of potatoes) and not enough of other items (hardly any green salad, no iced tea and no French bread). What was wonderful was that there was plenty to feed the 70-or-so people who took plates.
No one went away hungry even though the meal was a little unbalanced nutritionally and the little immigrant girls went and grabbed the small pots of early jonquils (which I thought I would use in my Easter centerpiece). They were all so delighted and so adorable, however, I couldn’t begrudge the yellow blossoms marching out the door.
What was even more wonderful was the help I had setting up and striking the serving tables and cleaning the gymnasium kitchen. As much as I love planning large eating events that give people opportunities to gather and chat and connect with each other, there is no denying it’s a lot of work.
To have the school oven scrubbed because the sweet-potato butter and drippings puddled on its bottom, to have silverware washed that we usually haul home dirty, to have bins carried out the gym door to the storage trailer and some loaded into my car, to hear the words, “Anything else we can do?” made the church potluck an absolute joy for me. One of my criteria for a healthy small group is, “Do we work well together?”
I’ve been thinking much lately about the power of the aggregate, of how we really don’t accomplish much in the world for good (although we are always tempted to think that we do) without the helping hands of others, without their encouragement, without their labor, without their good will, and often without their sacrifice. The incredible little section at the end of the book of Mark was written to an aggregate, to a plural you:
“And these signs will accompany those who believe; by using my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:17-18)
I know it is prosaic to use church potlucks as an example of the potential of this powerful passage, but frankly, this morning, without the aching back I usually have after a big church-feeding event, after a week in which I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time napping, I’m experiencing a most-practical illustration of the power of the corporate you.
“You will feed large crowds without experiencing unusual fatigue…”
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.