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:
Despite getting a flu shot, I came down with what seems to be going around in the influenza category. Oh, not the head cold, sinus infection, runny nose, sneezing and coughing category; nor the digestive track, vomiting and running to the bathroom category; but the achy, weary (is-this-a-vitamin-or-iron-deficiency?) category.
Starting with Friday night, I took to bed and slept and slept and slept (14 hours that night, then another 12 hours the next day!). I dragged myself downstairs, weakly impelled my concerned husband to fetch tea, Dayquil and Nyquil tablets, the morning newspaper, and the heating pad.
However, I definitely was not at the I-think-I-may-die stage; it was more the “how-tired-and-muscle-sore-can-a-body-get stage. Somewhere soon after self-diagnosis and the conclusions (“I’m not going to get the Christmas stuff packed away in the attic this weekend; I’m not going to make it to church; I’m not going to make it into the office today”), I thought, Oh, how lovely! I can spend wakeful time just telling God how much I love Him—not enough of that in my life. AND—I can read! YEAH!
Truthfully, sometimes sick days are the best thing that can happen to us.
So, this is what I did do:
- I really had the time to love God and thank Him for scheduling this unplanned break, which of course was not on my calendar.
- I sat in the sun, which in February in winter in Chicago is not all that frequent an opportunity—particular since our Mainstay offices are on the interior of our building, with no outside views.
- I read three books by Imre Kertész, the Hungarian Jewish author and winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Literature. I had bought these books in May 2011 while in Budapest: Fatelessness, Kaddish for an Unborn Child and Detective Story.
- I finished reading The Power of Unreasonable People: How Social Entrepreneurs Create Markets That Change the World by John Elkington and Pamela Hartigan.
- I listened to the first three discs of His Excellency, a biography of George Washington, which David received as a white-elephant Christmas gift.
- I sat in the sun in my south-facing home study and reviewed the notes in my past writing study.
- I started reading John Polkinghorn’s Quantum Physics and Theology: An Unexpected Kinship. Underlined pertinent observations.
- I canceled a joint birthday outing with my sister but exchanged e-mails and photos of our grandchildren.
- I reread some well-loved poetry Mysticism for Beginners by Polish writer Adam Zagajewski. I loved the poem “A Flame,” since we have been dialoguing about the aging process (observing ourselves as we age)…
- God, give us a long winter
and quiet music, and patient mouths,
and a little pride—before
our age ends.
Give us astonishment
and a flame, high, bright.
- God, give us a long winter
- I texted my teen grandsons (I learned to text so I can keep up with them).
- I slept with the heating pad, remembering that I love solitary days without schedules, whole days set aside for thinking and listening. Slept some more.
- I pulled out my Gregorian chant CD’s and filled the house with this ancient worship music.
- I looked out the windows at the melting snow, watched the sunset at the end of the days and felt the night creep on. Looked some more.
I cannot tell you how centered I felt, how close and at home I came to the core of my being, how replete with God, how satisfied with the world and my life, how reminded that I love to write but that much of writing is this thinking process, this listening to one’s self and the God who whispers in the silence through the beauty of words and ideas and stillness. And that I have not have had enough time to listen deeply, that I have gotten out of the habit. I ended my sick days replete, full, satisfied, spiritually renewed and mentally massaged.
Thank God for sick days. I think I should schedule a few in each month.
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.