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:
I drove the wrong way to Buffalo. My husband and I had been visiting close friends in the mountains beside the Appalachian Trail above Charlottesville, Virginia. We were on our way to the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario, with a stop at the airport in Buffalo, New York, to pick up a couple from New Orleans who were accompanying us on our-much anticipated theatre extravaganza—five plays in three days. Obviously we needed to leave early in order to meet their flight on time, cross the border, drive west across Canada, check into the bed-and-breakfast, and be ready for the performance that evening.
“I’ll drive,” I volunteered, being most alert in the morning. Before we joined the freeway (Route 81 going north toward Buffalo), we stopped for gas and a newspaper. I turned onto the highway, my mind troubled by our recent visit—my dear friend was fighting what was to become a losing battle with cancer—and David settled down in the passenger’s seat, totally absorbed in his reading.
After about half an hour it suddenly hit me: The road signs were all showing that the mileage to Roanoke was decreasing. Roanoke! I don’t want to go to Roanoke. I want to go to Buffalo. “David,” I said, dreading his reaction. “I hate to say this, but I think I’ve been driving in the wrong direction. That last sign said I’m going to Roanoke, Virginia.”
His head popped up from behind the papers and he twisted around as though he could read through the marker we had just passed. “Roanoke! That’s south! We don’t want to go south. We want to go north. You’re supposed to be driving to Buffalo!”
Now, I knew this. He didn’t have to tell me. Neither did he have to remind me of the arrival time of our friends at the airport. Determined to do it right, I pulled off at the next exit, turned around and proceeded to drive the right way to Buffalo. By pushing the pedal, navigating Route 81 in the correct direction, we made it to the airport just a few minutes before the Louisiana flight landed.
Needless to say, if you go one half-hour the wrong way, even with the right intentions, you still have to go back one half-hour pointed in the correct direction until you get where you started. That’s a total of one hour lost in a tight morning of driving!
Literature is filled with stories of people going in the wrong direction. C.S. Lewis tells of arriving as a young student to study at Oxford and not being able to find the campus. Trudging from the train station with his baggage, he kept looking for the ‘fabled’ Cluster of spires and towers’ so many had mentioned before him. After walking awhile, dismayed by the shabbiness of some of the houses he was passing, he realized he was heading for open country, and it was only when he turned and looked back that he could see the majestic towers. They were on the opposite side of town from where he had stopped. He had been going in the wrong direction.
In The Great Divorce, Lewis writes,
“I do not think that all who choose wrong roads perish; but their rescue consists in being put back on the right road. A wrong sum can be put right: but only by going back till you find the error and working it afresh from that point, never by simply going on. Evil can be undone, but it cannot ‘develop’ into good. Time does not heal it.”
In order to get where we want to go, we must point ourselves in the right direction. In order to recognize God working in our everyday lives (every day), we have to remove the activities and reduce the complications that keep us traveling on the wrong roads. In order to know God we must face toward Him. Of course, we won’t see Him if our backs are always turned away from him (unless He hits us on the head with a bat—and sometimes He loves us enough to do so).
As you are journeying through your days, make sure you are not going the wrong way to Buffalo. And if you are, when God shows you the mileage to Roanoke is decreasing, turn around and say a prayer of thanksgiving.
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.