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 hammock in our backyard is one of those tied string hammocks imported from Mexico and sold in import stores all over the country. Tied between two trees, ours has been with us since our own kids were living at home; the hammock ropes have weathered to a dingy grey, so I spruce their sad color up in the summer with bright blue pillows.
Now the grandchildren love to lie down in the hammock and swing. “Be careful. Hold on,” we warn as we give them a push, including the tradition of whacking their bottoms when the swing pattern brings them close. They laugh and cry out for more, and I wonder, How many happy children have swung up and down in the hammock?
My grandmother wrote down a bunch of notes for me with the details of her life. These are all handwritten, and when I rediscovered the file folder that holds them, I noticed she had recorded her mother taking a fall when the hammock on the porch broke. This resulted in my great-grandmother’s death. So every time we use the hammock, I check the strings to make sure they haven’t rotted as well as the hooks which hold the end ropes in a triangle. I give the trees a look-over also. How does a person know when a tree is ready to fall?
The big deal this summer is that I rigged a self-swinging rope to one tree and tied the other end to the side of the hammock. This means that the all the swinger needs to do is give that line a few tugs and the hammock will sway up and down without a second person to push it! My grandchildren think I’m brilliant. Well, I will admit to a few brilliances, although not in hammock-swinging.
Mostly, I am the person who uses the self-swinging rope—I don’t ever remember my husband balancing himself to stretch out in the hammock.
What I love about the hammock in our backyard is that it is so quintessentially a part of summer. Picnics and grilling out and bees buzzing and sun on the gardens, shade and shadow in their fleeting sequences, children being swung while their parents and grandparents sit beside in the garden chairs with cool drinks and catch up on the last week, present plans and ideas for the future. I think of my great-grandmother when I get into the hammock and of her demise, and of my demise—eventually—and I am grateful that I have lived in the joy of these summer days, that my life has stretched long enough to enjoy March, April, May and June without mosquitoes—this in Chicago where they are always rampant.
When I stretch out for short naps in the hammocks, I watch the sky and see the tops of the oak trees and notice the birds’ loping flight above our heads—all vistas I forget to observe when I am not prone.
Happiness and mortality and looking upward, summer bliss and lightning bugs and cooling nights—all this from the hammock with the bright blue pillows and the self-swinging rope. Praises be to God!
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.