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:
No matter how much the activities of the government of this country distress me (no matter who the political leader is), at heart I am still a patriot. On Flag Day, June 14, the tradition at our house is to hang the flags. We unfurl four flags on the porch, three in the back yard, and I am hoping to design a way to mount a pole on the mailbox so the flag hangs waving toward the street, not with its back mounting away from the street. The flags stay up until Labor Day, at which time we roll them, pin them so they don’t unfurl, and store them in the furnace room in the basement. (This year, two of our grandchildren, helped me hoist the flags. When done, we stood on the front path with our hands over our hearts and pronounced the Pledge of Allegiance.)
“Mom,” my eldest son made a point of mentioning. “Don’t you think you have enough flags around here?”
Actually, I can think of a few other places to hang the American flag, but since this is a private residence and not a military base, I will restrict myself to solving the mailbox design dilemma. (Can a patriot ever, really, display too many flags?)
Our house is brown, and since I had new posts made to replace the porch posts that were aged with water and weather (one or two actually swung when pushed) and had them painted a barn red, then liked that so much that I had the garage door painted in the same hue, then liked that so much I ordered two red garden benches for the front patio and added a bright-red sun umbrella, the red/white/blue flags are a satisfying accent. They proclaim that this is a house that is lived in, loved, and where happiness reins. A Hobby Lobby sign by the front door pronounces my petition: Bless This House With Love and Laughter.
The flags, flapping in the breeze, waving hello to every passerby, are my outside decorating signature. Although I have noticed red sun umbrellas popping up here and there (across the back garden on my neighbor’s deck, and here and there down the street), I don’t know of anyone else who hangs more than one American flag on their front porch, not to mention four, then three more on the back fences. (Where is their patriotism?)
I pray for my country, grieve over its decline, wonder about the American spirit, hate the rancor that has entered into our public life, ask God to give us repentance over the fact that we have often become the worst kind of power players in the world, plead for a renewal of faith in the hearts of Christians and for revival in the church. The flags, however, say, perhaps to no one else but myself, that I am thankful that I can live in this place where we still have civil freedoms (though fast eroding) and hold however imperfectly to the grand idea that all men are created equal.
My American flags are like the Buddhist prayer wheels, reminders to intercede:
God Bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.
So this Fourth of July, hoist a flag. As you do, whisper a prayer.
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.