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 recently decided to research the etymology of the phrase “ollie ollie oxen free.” Do you recognize that phrase? It’s the signal given at the end of hide-and-seek that the hunt is over or the main player has given up hope of winning.
The website World Wide Words explains the meaning behind the words:
One guess is that the original was something like “all in free” for “all who are out can come in free” to indicate that the person who is “it” in the game of hide-and-seek has caught somebody to become the new “it,” so everybody else can come out of hiding without the risk of being caught.
Supposedly oral transmission has garbled the words, with “all in” becoming “ollie” and “outs in free” becoming “oxen free.”
Are you far from home base? Listen, listen: perhaps you are not nearly as far away as you think. “It” is shouting the signal, “All in free! All in free!”
Yes, you may have to run for a while. You may be a bit breathless and frantic when you return to the game. You will have to promise not to cheat again, not to wonder so far. You will have to apologize for causing such concern (and you will have to mean it).
But look! There is time. There is still a lingering glow in the western sky. The fireflies are beginning to blink. The evening air is warm and inviting, and the game will not be called for the night until you are returned safely to the waiting arms of your laughing Father who is crazy in love over you.
Hear Him call, “Ollie Ollie Oxen Free.” 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.