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:
My friend Cathie Clark gave me two and a half hours last week (well, we spent a half-hour drinking tea and chatting—a well-earned rest) storing my Christmas stuff away in the attic.
That started me on a cleaning purge in which I’ve spent a couple hours every day since she gave me her helping hand. I’ve been pushing around boxes, whomping my head on the slanted roof rafters (over and over—why can’t I remember to watch out for the low-hanging eaves?), sorting and tossing.
I just have to push the shop-vac up the narrow, awkward collapsible stairs and store the 30 feet of really thick rope some way that it doesn’t trip up attic explorers in the semi-darkness. We now have a Summer Corner (with canning supplies and jars tucked behind that). Here are the lawn chairs, the stadium chairs, the picnic baskets, the barrel of wicker chargers that hold paper plates, the red sun umbrella. Also here are stored the summer wreaths—three for outside doors, two for the garden gates.
Nearby the summer accessories is the Christmas Side—boxed trees, ornaments, more wreaths, outside lights, inside decorations, a bin of miniature tree lights, old sleds (and a set of crutches), and a brown waste-sized sack that stores all the artificial berries and red-twig dogwood branches I stick in the pots with greens (like the ones I’ve just burnt).
We have a Spring Corner and a Fall Wall. All guests either living with us now or who have lived with us in the past and left a barrel or box behind (to be picked up later—how I wish that would happen!) are in the far, far corner. There is an archival spot, crowded by a trunk of old photos, one carton of what looks like my daughter’s high-school yearbooks, boxes of “Fingertip Consultants”—a program we developed to train pastors in creating meaningful worship services—and the spindle baby crib I used for all four children. All this to be cleaned at another time, but at least for now, it’s all pushed together.
Then at the front of the attic, by the tricky collapsible stairs, is stored one lamp bought on sale that matches the outside door lamps, to be hung when I get the money to pay an electrician. Here also are the rotating fans since we try not to air condition the house as long as possible; they are covered with cloths from a son’s journey to Mexico. That’s to keep out unnecessary dust.
I’ve thrown away junk; broken things, emptied cardboard boxes, taken the library of horseback riding to my grandson who is into horses, and washed the few remaining Fiesta dishes that had escaped my eldest son’s collecting eye. The floor has been broom-swept and swept again. Now I just have to push up the dry-vac and get that black plastic wand into all the corners and the spaces in the attic floor where debris has dropped onto the garage ceiling drywall.
It is a lot of work to clean out an attic. My knees ache from kneeling and scooting into the corners. Some of the heavier boxes I’ve pushed up the treacherous stairs with my head—that hasn’t helped the feeling that I’ve overused my leg joints. (I push things up the stairs with my head because I’m hanging onto the rickety rails and don’t want to wait a couple hours for help.) I think I’ll use those yellow yardsticks to make signs, i.e., This Is the Spring Corner—maybe with a literary quote—something from Emily Dickinson? Too much? This cleaning compulsion getting out of hand? At least I’ll have a way to remind myself of what’s where, not to mention sparing my adult children if I become disabled, disagreeable or disengaged.
Cleaning attics of the heart and soul is really what we need to do in order to be Easter-ready. Preparing the gardens for spring—raking up after winter, digging up weeds, transplanting when the nights are still cool and the roots can settle—these are all analogies by which we know how much work it can take to get the spiritual self ready to greet God. Dining with Him with dirty hands? Coming to the table with mud-caked boots? Having a mind so filled with junk and dirt and extraneous things that should have been discarded years back keeps a person from really concentrating on the conversation. Wearing inappropriate clothes that are either too tight, or too revealing, or spotted and torn and missing buttons—this is enough to make anyone wish they had taken time to put things right.
Who is ready for Easter? Who is not? We are standing, whether we recognize it or not, in the Spring Corner—look around.
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.