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:
I noticed one of the young moms—part of the group of us signed up to go standby—herding three kids, two teens and a preteen, at the gate where we were waiting to see if any of us would make it out on the first plane that left from San Francisco to Chicago. Her little group did not make the first plane, nor the 6:55 morning flight. At the next gate she was offered space if they wanted to split up, “No way,” she said, with her kids echoing her comments. “We’re going to stick together!”
Waiting at the 10:30 flight gate, I noticed that her standby party of four were called for first-class seats. A cheer of delight went up from them. Standing nearby, she smiled at me. “Well, that was worth the wait.” We started to chat, and I asked her several questions about flying on these passes. The first was: How do you get your name up to the front of the list?
“Oh, don’t even try. There’s a seniority system in the airlines. The longer you’ve worked, the higher your name goes on the list.” Well, that was a help. It spared me all kinds of fruitless effort.
Do you sign up for several flights yourself? “You’re not supposed to, but sometimes I do,” she admitted.
She talked about taking planes to less-busy airports, then flying on to busier destinations of choice. “We’re actually on our way to Paris for the week long vacation.” We all remarked on how much we loved that city. Their intent was to spend a day in Chicago, then go through London and take the Channel to Paris. A friend had said to her, “Oh, no. You should fly to Frankfort. We have plenty of flights that go there. Then you take the train back to Paris.”
I began to realize there was a whole lore I needed to learn regarding traveling standby.
“How are your kids with all this?”
“Aw, they’re used to it.” Actually, I hadn’t seen the typical sighs, raised brows or rolled eyes that generally signal, “These kids have had it and are beginning to mount a rebellion.”
“No,” she continued. “They’ve learned to roll with the punches, be flexible. We just think it’s a great adventure.”
After my name was called for the same flight, I thought some about this bright and eager woman. Actually, much of life is like flying standby. We think we have a ticket that will enable us to travel where we want to go, but really we’re just waiting in line until a space opens for us. The door to some jet-way opens. Opportunity presents itself suddenly; we can choose it or lose it. Our name has been called—or not. We can roll with the punches, become extraordinarily flexible, or we can gripe and complain, whine and lament that the travel through the days has not gone as we expected.
I decided that for this entire year of traveling standby, with no guarantees that I would actually get on the winging toward where I was trying to go, that I would adopt this woman’s and her children’s attitude. It’s an adventure. I will choose to trust that the Lord will get me where He needs me when He needs me to get there. And if my name is not called, I’d believe that the timing was all under his control. But I would keep my eyes open as to what kind of alternate travel scheme He might have in mind.
I determined that I would learn to work in the airport, on crowded airplanes, that I would force myself to use the Kindle my daughter gave me to cut down on the amount of books I haul from the to-read pile. I vowed I would learn to do more on my 4G phone than just make and receive calls. This way my travel time would be productive, and I would just leave the journeying mechanisms up to God.
This morning I signed in for the first flight to Miami. There was lots of room on a rather small plane; I had two seats to spread out in. I’ve written three blogs, counting this one, am powering up my Kindle, have called the office four times and left work for the staff, am carrying out communiqués via texts, have navigated the Miami International Airport, going through the parking lot from Terminal G to Terminal D, rather than around the walkway—a much longer jaunt while hauling a suitcase, briefcase, coat and purse. I still have another three hours to finish tasks, have lunch, and get myself to gate D4 for a 5:40 flight, meet the rest of the film crew, then take off for the Dominican Republic, where we are scheduled to land at 8 o’clock this evening.
Traveling with God is always an adventure, whether it is because you have a reservation or are going standby. I’ve decided I’m just going to live in that reality. Let’s see what amazing things He does with me and this standby pass.
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.