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:
My son, Jeremy, and my daughter-in-law, Angela, gave me a tango lesson for my 69th birthday. “Mom,” he informed me, “Angela and I went to a tango class last week. There’s a new studio in town right across from the library. Why don’t you come with me and see if you like it? That will be your birthday gift.”
Well, how could I refuse? Though I am rhythmically challenged, my rule of thumb is: If your adult kids invite you to go anywhere, do everything you can to fit it into the schedule.
So last Monday night Jeremy and I parked in front of La Yunta Milonga (The Tango Argentina Club) in downtown West Chicago, Illinois on West Washington St. The irony of all this is that our town is more than 60% Hispanic and tango is not really a Mexican cultural dance. The core of our community is really working-class. Somehow, a Tango Argentina Club didn’t quite fit the taquerias and Mexican bakeries that fill our town. My son and his wife can dance salsa, meringue, and swing, so why not tango. This Monday night was for “Guided Practice,” explains the little card I was handed that reads, “La Yunta Milonga: a beautiful place for beautiful people.” We would learn to dance the tango with the owners Ruben (from Argentina) and Maria (from France) showing us the dancing ropes.
Jeremy, who was voted the best dancer in his high-school class, was as much a novice as I. So just submitting to the fact that I was going to be awful, I attempted to take their guidance to heart. Ruben taught us in Spanish with his wife translating into English. (Later, Jeremy, who teaches Spanish at Wheaton College, informed me that she, in her delightful way, basically said what she wanted to say and didn’t give a literal translation of her husband’s instructions. I did notice that he said “bueno” whenever she finished, so I think there was kind of a collaboration of agreement between the two.)
In my first tango lesson I learned: The man must lead; you brush your thighs as you walk; you back up (for the woman) in a straight line; that you must relax; you must keep your right elbow bent stiffly so your partner can guide you; and it will take quite a few walking lessons for me to get the hang of it.
At 8 o’clock, the lights were lowered, the music was turned on, several other people arrived for the dancing hour and Maria assigned me to a gentleman with the words, “She is just learning tango.” So this stranger and I began moving around the floor. Amazingly, I found myself in step, making turns, crossing my ankles to twist forward, twist back—all under his guidance. When I made a misstep and apologized, I said, “I’m thinking too much. I need just to relax and move.”
“Don’t apologize,” the man said, who I was realizing was an excellent dancer. “It is up to me to get you where I want you to go.”
Because I am a writer, one of the things I have learned to do is live life metaphorically. A metaphor is an application of a word or figure of speech to a concept it does not literally denote in order to suggest comparison to another object or concept. Living life metaphorically means that I attempt to draw out meaning beneath or beside the meaning.
A good dancing partner is an excellent illustration of what it is like to step in time to the rhythm of life with God, whose responsibility is to get us where it is He wants us to go. Now, we have the choice as humans, to refuse to dance altogether, if we like. We can “sit this one out” and we can refuse to cooperate by barn-dancing when we should be attempting to tango. There are rules we must follow if we are going to look good and get the best benefit of the guided practice. We must walk backward in a straight line; we must keep our elbow bent firmly so our Partner can guide us. But basically, the rhythm and beauty and timing of our dancing activity is a matter of following the Divine Dancing Partner.
I was amazed at the Tango Argentina Club on Monday night last (a 69th-birthday gift) by how beautifully I performed when I danced with someone who knew what he was doing. Perhaps we all should learn to pray, Lord, what kind of dance is it that You want me to dance today? And then we should learn to follow His lead.
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.