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:
David and I have gone up to the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario for some 39 years. Rather than have a cabin on a lake, or a vacation getaway, we have returned to this little stone town with its four theatres and amazing cultural life, inviting friends and family and acquaintances to come with us. Theatre in this environment, with the finest repertory company on the North American continent, has enriched our souls. Will Shakespeare is part of our family history.
On several occasions people have recommended the Canadian television series Slings and Arrows, a fictional account of a theatre company much like the Stratford Festival. “No one says its about the Festival,” said the friend who most recently recommended this series, no longer on television, “But it’s about the Festival. We laughed our heads off.”
Since Slings and Arrows had been recommended so frequently and so highly by people whose judgments we trust (most of whom have traveled to the Festival with us), I ordered the four-year series through Amazon.com. Last night after a wearying day, I sat down to view the first segment of the first DVD. I ended up watching one whole season and laughed all the way through it. It was outlandish; it was fascinating; it was filled with actor’s ego and performer’s angst. And at the same time, the story lines were unaccountably sweet. This first season is about the mounting of the play “Hamlet” and finally, when the young Hollywood star who has been brought in to boost the box-office receipts, reaches the deepest meaning of the lines he has memorized, I leaned into the television set, moved mightily by the power of the language and brushed away the tears that began to swell.
Remarkably, despite its wild display of human foibles, this quirky television series has captured some of the transcendency we often feel when we sit in the theatre and watch the dramatic presentations of the Bard.
Slings and Arrows is by no means a Christian production—far from it. So I am often left to puzzle how it is that non-church people capture those moments that open up before us all and in which the holy, in which the sacred reside. We’ve actually had conversations with Shakespeare Festival actors about this very thing. Something numinous, something transcendent occurs; they know it, they recognize it when it happens, but they struggle for the words to explain it. “Those are the moments in the life of the theatre that we wait for,” one lead actress explained. Her colleagues nodded their heads in agreement.
Perhaps, for the rest of us, less talented certainly in the dramatic arts, we also wait for moments when God comes near, when the veil of this life parts a little, and we know His presence in a way we don’t always know it, and we bow like Moses before the burning bush. We have taken off our shoes.
Thanks be given for a life filled with friends who recommend great things to read or see or places to go. Rich thinking and beautiful moments of being come from heeding their recommendations. Somehow, often despite us all, God is present.
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.