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:
Oh, life’s little frustrations!
A friend offered to underwrite a trip to Italy by covering the expenses for four of us—he and his wife and my husband and me. That in itself is a wondrous gift. But, the fact that it is our 50th year of marriage and we are still healthy enough to travel makes this a double blessing. The reason he volunteered such generous underwriting is because he received some inheritance money earlier than expected, and the four of us have been talking about taking this trip together for a decade.
Our friends have traveled with us when we took a tour of 36 people to Spain to visit the sites of the Spanish mystics. Our friends traveled with us to France when we took 22 people to discover “God Through the Eyes of the Artist and the Artist in the Eyes of God.” And the four of us ended up in Vienna on the 2nd Sunday of Advent for a week, roaming the Christmas markets and attending free classical concerts in the churches of this historically musical event.
“We want to go to Italy,” said this well-traveled friend, “but we want to go with you. I’ll pay for it if you will plan it.” I suspect the generous underwriting came because there was some suspicion I would never get around to it. The bad world economy had frightened me into not attempting any more risky travel adventures.
I’ve written a book in which I used Michelangelo’s Pietàs as a metaphor for mercy, and my initial plan was to visit the earliest Pietà in St. Peter’s Basilica at Rome, the Florentine Pietà in the Duomo Museum in Florence, and the last Pietà, the Rondanini in the Castello Sforzesco in Milan. My plan was to use the book Comforting One Another as a major theme for our journey through Italy.
However, none of the travel agents I’d worked with in years past were any longer available. They had either quit the travel industry, moved to other agencies, or were unable to work outside the country where we had enjoyed the benefits of their specialized competencies. I left messages and received no callbacks.
Finally, getting a little panicky (I didn’t want to make a random selection with a company that was not established or without a recommendation from a traveler who had used them—horror stories abound about tourists losing their funds when a company goes under), I turned to one of the members of our small group. His enterprise treks young people all over the world for the purpose of developing leadership through adventurous travel.
“Oh, Kim!” he answered. “We’ve used Kim for decades. She knows what she’s doing. She’s local. We’ve been most satisfied with her. Also, she knows Italy. Her daughter lived there.” He even knew Kim’s phone number by heart.
Not only do we sometimes not ask God for what we need, but we forget to ask the people we know who often love and respect us and want to help in any way they can. God often helps us through our friends. (And, how often we neglect to recognize their help as coming from Him.)
Our Italy trip seems to be in capable hands (with someone who returns my phone calls and e-mails right away!).
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.