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:
I should know better—I’ve traveled around the world countless times—but that old travel anxiety creeps up on me and the first time I notice it, I’m stewing in worry about whether or not I’ll get there on time, find the right counter in a country where I don’t know the language, lose my bags, lose my passport, lose my money, and on and on and on.
This September, David and I were in Italy doing survey work and site visits for a tour we hope to sponsor in 2013—a learn-before-you-go tour, using conference calls and the Internet as a tool for travel education, before the actual journey. After our 12 days together in Italy, however, David was going to fly home. And, my travel agent had booked me from Milan, Italy through Cairo, Egypt, arriving in Nairobi, Kenya about 3:55 in the morning.
Every time I thought about this transit, I could feel myself getting nervous—mostly because of the inconvenient time and the fact that I had never flown through Cairo before. This Cairo anxiety, however, was hidden over by a more pressing concern—keeping track of the monies for the Italy leg of the journey. I am bad at math and details and record-keeping (I mean I am really bad at them). Finally, after a few nights of restlessness, my husband, who is great at math and details and record-keeping, volunteered to take over the travel finances. What a relief!
It was then that I pinpointed the underlying Cairo anxiety and the fact that I was worrying ahead about transferring from Rome to Florence, from Florence to Cinque Terra, from Cinque Terra to Verona, from Verona to Milan and then on down to Africa—that transition by myself.
I’ve battled with this particular nagging demon in the past—worrying needlessly about where I am going if I don’t know exactly where I am going!
So, I simply exercised the spiritual practice I learned while journeying for weeks through Europe on my own back in 1993. “Dear Lord,” I prayed. “You are the Ticket Master, the Tour Guide, the Traveling Companion. I am putting this anxiety in your capable hands. I trust that you will take care of us, keep us from harm and from stupid mistakes, put helping folk in our way, and get us to where we need to go without mishap.”
I began to sleep eight, nine, ten hours at night—a minor miracle for me, because I never sleep that way. The pinched nerve in my shoulder, which has wakened me for over two years, went away. And, I enjoyed myself completely. At the slightest tinge of journey nervousness, I repeated my journey mantra, “Dear Lord. You are the Ticket Master, the Tour Guide, the Traveling Companion…”
God is not a God who is only with us when we are at home, in church or at work—in all the familiar places of our life—but, He is God who loves to travel with us when we are venturing into the unknown.
Not only had my pinched nerve spontaneously healed, I suspect I will never live with travel anxiety again. By the way, the transit through the Cairo airport was a dream. I used the five hours that I waited for the next flight to pray for the persecuted Christian church there. Peace along the way.
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.