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 new acquaintance in California, Bryan, is a prize-winning chef. He is particularly renown for his pies, which have taken top awards in numerous cooking events. So when he invited me for dinner during my stay for the Medical Ambassadors International board of directors meeting, I said I would love to come but only if he would give me a cooking lesson in the kitchen at the same time we prepped for the meal.
“How would you feel about learning to make ravioli from scratch?” he asked. I felt great about that. So we embarked on an adventure creating Ravioli With Salmon Mixture accompanied by a side dish of fresh, red-stemmed chard cooked in a wok with fresh spinach. Oh, the Central Valley of California, which seems to have an overabundance of fresh produce in its markets no matter what time of the year I visit.
Bryan mixed the dough in front of me, and then grew politely impatient with my kneading techniques (which are limited, I admit). He coached me to the place where the concoction “was smooth like a baby’s bottom.” The kneaded dough was set aside in a bowl, covered with a cloth, and left to rest for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, we prepared the salmon mixture. Two fresh salmon steaks were gently deboned (a few little stickers here and there) with the help of small pincer pliers (kitchen use only, of course). Then with a sharp knife, we cut the salmon into bite-sized pieces. The best that I can remember, we gently mixed in two ounces of crème fraîche, eight ounces of clotted ricotta cheese, and added salt and pepper to taste, as well as half a bunch of fresh chopped cilantro.
Bryan started the sauce on the stove, two pints of cream (I’ll have to check the amount) with one-half jar of condensed chicken stock (I’ll have to look for the brand), then the ingredient, the piece resistance, kaffir limes leaves cut from a bush by the outside pool, chopped and stirred into the braising pan.
By this time, Bryan had hooked his pasta tool to his Kitchen Aid mixer and I was given a demonstration. Cuts of the dough (rested by now) were formed and folded into oblongs, then pressed several times through the pasta attachment. We laid long oblongs on the cutting board, pressed out circles, filled each with the salmon mixture, dabbed water on the edge of the lower circle of pasta to create a sticky surface, then pressed the top circle down tightly so it wouldn’t split in the boiling pan of water on the stove. In time, we had enough ravioli circlets with dough and mixture to spare. Bryan gingerly pushed them into the hot water while rotating the cream sauce with a turn of his fist.
I had washed and drained the fresh spinach while Bryan heated the wok, but when he instructed me to cut out the red stems from the Swiss chard, I protested. I love the color and grow Swiss chard because of that red; he felt it sometimes is bitter. We compromised. He kept some part of the stems to chop as color accent on the chard and spinach green.
In what seemed like minutes, we were at the table, grace had been given, and the food had been served up. It was exquisite—nothing (NOTHING) like fresh ingredients.
All I can remember about this is that what I kept saying was, “This is so much fun!” What I kept feeling was an intense, delighted, exquisite happiness.
Sometimes doing the things we love the most brings us closest to the God we hold dear. We have to remember that despite what we might think as insufferable humans who always default to negative positions, God is happy when His children are happy.
I need to remember to schedule in some completely happy moments doing things I love doing, not only the things I need to be doing.
- The sewing machine has been refurbished. I even have a friend with the same-model machine who is a former home-economics teacher and who is willing to teach me how to use it. Get going. Be happy.
- The spring in Chicago is early and warm. I lose myself in the garden. Get going. Be happy.
- I love to read. Set a day aside just to read. Don’t go into the office. Be ecstatic.
- Take those canvases waiting empty in the storerooms in the basement. Paint away.
Make your Maker glad. Make a list of all the things you love to do. Then do them.
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.