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:
Sometimes (most of the time) the sermons we preach to others are really the sermons that we should be listening to ourselves. In the sermon I gave in our church, using the life and music of Johnny Cash as a springboard for thoughts about repentance (Lent According to Johnny Cash), I mentioned this quote from R. D. Laing:
The range of what we think and do—
Is limited by what we fail to notice;
And because we fail to notice—
There is little we can do to change
Until we notice how failing to notice
Shapes our thoughts and deeds.
Admittedly, this quote has to be read several times to understand what the little saying means, but it is profound in its potential impact.
Failing to notice (or neglecting to pay attention to) own motivations, character frailties, or inner knots is a human default. We don’t really want to know what it is we don’t want to know about our selves.
Lent is a time set aside by the early church fathers (and mothers) as a 50-day period to notice, to consider our own souls, to self-reflect on the error of our ways, so that we can develop the capacity for self-knowledge. Self-knowledge is the goal of any introspection, and when we reach it (finally and often with some kind of agony), one of the byproducts is the capacity to notice what we have not been noticing.
No matter how old you are (I am 70 years of age), this process never ends. And because I preached a sermon last Sunday on this process, I have been asking myself, “What is it I am still not noticing?”
Since I have taken a Lenten vow not to watch television for these days leading up to Easter, I’ve also diagnosed the reason for too much time spent as a couch potato is the fact that I am fatigued by 3:00 in the afternoon and just holding on until I can go to bed by 9:00.
A friend sent me to her kinesiologist, and we began the process of discovering at what points I am nutritionally and chemically deprived that might contribute to fatigue, why I am not sleeping well, and what is causing the cycle of allergic reactions that plague me all through the year. To put it simply—watching too much television is only the presenting problem. The causes of the afternoon and evening fatigues that overwhelm me are rooted somewhere in the intricate balance and imbalances that make up the sum total of human entity.
It has been an intriguing journey, and I am popping all kinds of supplements morning and evening, but a month into this experiment, I am feeling better. I’m paying attention. I’m looking inward. I’m definitely noticing.
“That it may please thee to inspire us in all our several callings,
to do the work which thou givest us to do, with singleness of heart
as thy servants, for the common good.
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.”
—The Book of Common 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.