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:
We still have a bare breath of weather before the ground becomes utterly frozen. This December day, there is sun in the sky, and the high temperature, we’re told, will be around 47 degrees. (I can still get the spikes to my outside holiday spotlights in the ground!) This will change, of course, so I’m trying to get the last of the gardening tasks done before I will not want to be out in the cold anymore.
The Christmas greens have all been plunged into the yielding earth in the front-door pots and in the repurposed whiskey barrel by the mailbox out on the roadside. I need to wind greens in the arch, but all the artificial poinsettias, which give that pop of color to the greens, have been renewed by spraying them bright pink, cranberry and red—colors I love to combine.
Artemesia and winter-ready branches, stripped of their leaves so their curling forms show, are also arranged with the greens, and I kept the herb sprigs I had sprayed a bright apple green when I discarded or stored most of what was in the fall baskets. The herbs are still aromatic and smell glorious.
Today’s plan was to spread straw around the rose bushes and all over the bare spot where the sun now shines since the trees fell during July’s terrible storm. Here will be the vegetable garden I’ve never had—enough sun, but the soil needs amending. I’ve been tossing wet garbage from the kitchen there and digging it in. Then the idea is to layer the ground with cardboard salvaged from bins inside the aisles of Menards (I always keep my eye out for the discard barrels), next, to dump cured manure from my daughter’s horses’ stables and finally have good topsoil hauled in come spring.
But one errand led to another, and by 2:30 in the afternoon, I still had not hauled straw or laid down the sheets of flattened cardboard boxes. I’d been winding my way from store to store—Crate & Barrel, because they usually have great pre-Christmas sales. Then, because it was nearby, onto Chico’s for that classic adjustable belt with the chrome-polished belt-hooks—I had promised this to myself for a Christmas gift. I never pay full price for anything, but even with 30 percent off, for me it was an expensive purchase.
During this errand odyssey, I caught glimpses of myself in store windows and had to admit that, having dressed myself for a “farm-girl” morning and not having had time to change, I looked pretty tacky. The suburban woman who parked her Lexus in front of me looked like a “wealthy woman.” Perfectly groomed, with expensive clothes, in a white sleek car, she probably never got muddy in her garden, or hauled straw for the rose bushes, or emptied bins of cardboard at Menards.
I had a friend who used to say that there was always one woman in every room who made all the other women wish they could go home and choose another outfit. One of the great gifts of being 69 years of age (heading toward 70 next month) is that I don’t care anymore. I was just having a “farm-girl” day that I didn’t get around to. I could look at that woman and think, Oh, she looks nice, doesn’t she? I did not have to wish I could go home and change my clothes.
In fact, somewhere years ago, I crossed a clothes Rubicon. Traveling all over the country, speaking on platforms, meeting one cultural group after another cultural group—all with their own ways of dressing and grooming, I made up my mind that whatever Karen Mains chose to wear was always the appropriate attire (no matter what everyone else was wearing). That killed the comparison thing firmly and finally. In other words, in my own mind, I am never dressed in an inappropriate fashion. If I want to be farm-girlish with knees torn out of my jeans, a much-washed cotton flannel shirt, comfortable old boots and hair tucked into an unflattering cap, then so be it.
There is an extraordinary centeredness that comes from being wrapped in the bounty of God’s love, seeing that divine love expressed in multiple ways every day of my life, and rarely having a bad day because of that compassionate attention and care.
For me, Christmas, the celebration of the life of Christ come to us, is every day, all year. Twenty bowls for cereal (and ice cream for David). A consignment-shop coat that I really, really like, which when I wear it, makes me feel and look like a wealthy woman. The sun on the day; a 48-degree weather high. Reading to my little grandchildren as we are all tucked into my bed. Persimmon cookies made from the fruit brought to me from California by a friend.
I live richly and deeply every day in every way. May you learn to live richly and deeply too.
“I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the
saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and
to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you
may be filled with all the fullness of God.” —Ephesians 2:18-19
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.