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:
The name of our driver for the two weeks we are in Kenya is Farage (I believe it is Faragi but Kenyans often give you a name they think Westerners can understand and pronounce).
“I am your driver, Farage,” he says. “I am here for you.” This saying was repeated many times, gaining more meaning with each repetition.
This is a relief. Getting across town in Nairobi traffic (in the rainy season) during peak driving hours is a nightmare. The crush of traffic, pedestrians, the backed-up roundabouts, not constructed to absorb the volume of cars is daunting even to think about by the driver used to more of an orderly system (or perhaps one used to his/her own disorderly traffic system). I do not want to be driving on these roads; it is not like in England.
One evening, not knowing exactly when we would be returning, we decided not to order dinner in the Kijiji dining room. Arriving home before dark, we attended to a quick business meeting, then realized we had sent Farage along and had no way to get to the nearby restaurant down the road. “Oh, we’ll just walk,” we said to Mary Ogalo, our GBP Coordinator. “No! No! No! That’s too dangerous. Just take my car to drive the little way down the road and back.” It was now night.
So David got into the right-sided driver’s seat, took the bumpy lane to the security gate, turned right—across the highway—and suddenly discovered what Mary had meant when she said, “No! No! No! That’s too dangerous.” We were in utter blackness, with cars approaching on our left side with their high beams on due to the fact that there were no streetlights, no white lines on either edge of the road, no dividing yellow line, and people walking on both sides of the street who could not be seen until you were almost upon them. David eased the car down the road, with the other three of us peering in hopes of seeing the Rusty Nail Restaurant sign. Finally, right upon us, there it was. No lights marking the location or the driveway; David turned into a farther drive, the wrong drive, had to back out, missed the huge stone none of us saw, made it into the right drive, but we could hardly see where to go once the guard opened the gates to let us in.
“I’ll drive back,” I said to David after dinner. My night sight is a little better than his—the passenger in the front left seat, helped me steer down the road when high beams coming at me blinded me. I flipped on the turn signal, only to have the windshield wipers swish on. My passenger figured how to turn them off (several times). The road was wet; pedestrians were still walking on the sides, and I totally missed the turnoff to the entrance to Africa International University. No lights again.
“I think I’ve gone too far. Watch for the entrance.” Turning the car around, I aimed it in the pitch-black night down the left side of the road, twisting the steering wheel that was on the right side of the car.
Finally, greatly relieved, we turned into AIU. “Don’t ever loan your car to Americans!” we warned Mary the next morning. “We are, most of us, incompetent on your highways.”
I kept thinking of Farage’s words: “I am here for you.”
We changed driving plans daily. “Change of plans, Farage. Bet we didn’t surprise you with that, did we?” He would bob his head slightly, smile and forgive us our vagaries, “I am here for you.”
He took awful drives across town to the Kenyatta International airport—in heavy stalled traffic, in lanes fouled by downpours with water rushing across the roads—and delivered or picked up all assigned to him without incident.“I am here for you.”
He waited interminably when we didn’t get out of meetings at the time estimated. “So sorry, Farage…” I am here for you.”
Farage is a devout Muslim and one afternoon he wasn’t present. “Another driver will drive this afternoon.” No one said, “Farage is at Friday prayers. He is at the mosque with other observant Muslims.” Perhaps they thought we would be offended. We weren’t offended; we would have understood absolutely.
We were concerned about something and Farage said, “I will pray for you.” We had interesting conversations about the meaning of our faiths. David said, “You see, Farage, when we are friends, like you and I are friends” (this after driving for hours together for almost two weeks), “we can talk about what we believe without arguing about it.”
I suspect Farage understands, as deeply as I, about the power of his words. These are the same words God speaks to us when we are driving on the wrong side of the road, lost, with dangers on every side, with the windshield wipers going on when we needed the turn signal. “I am here for you.” Overcome with night-blindness, late from our appointments, stalled in unbelievable traffic with the torrents of rains making our vehicle hydroplane across the road, confused—these words are a deep comfort, a source of solidarity, a kindness, a profound reminder.
And if you are in a place in your life when you can’t hear these words, I know this driver in Kenya, a Muslim man with a baby daughter whose photos he proudly showed us one afternoon. He says the words frequently, easily, with meaning because he is always there when you need him, on time and waiting (except for Fridays during prayers). He’ll get you thinking. He’ll get you started. Perhaps listening to him you’ll be able to hear the same words spoken on a deeper listening level—I AM here for you.
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.