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:
It annoys me that every Christmas season, we are almost the only house on the block that does not hang Christmas lights outside. I believe the Scripture that says,
“All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all the people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” John 1:3-5.
It is my persuasion that despite the belief system (or more correctly, non-belief system) of house decorators, shining lights at Christmas, particularly in the darkening north where we live, are a symbol of that light coming into the darkness. So, I am miffed that something always prohibits us from lighting that symbol outside our doors. (We are, after all, one of the Christian families on our street!).
Now, I am not talking about “Griswolding.” As a tradition, our son Jeremy and his wife and children drive through the streets of our town of West Chicago, awarding “Griswolds” (which the city also awards, apparently without our knowing anything about this). “Griswolds” refer to the National Lampoon’s Vacation comedy-film series that were originally inspired by National Lampoon magazine. The series primarily features the misadventures of the Griswold family, whose attempts to enjoy vacations and holidays are plagued with continual disasters and strangely ridiculous predicaments.
In an attempt to make the perfect Christmas, for instance, Clark Griswold (played by Chevy Chase) decorates the outside of his house with 250 strands of lights with 100 bulbs on each strand for a total of 25,000 light bulbs, enough to make the power company turn on their auxiliary nuclear generator. Clark also annoys his snobby next-door neighbors, Todd Chester, and in all that resides the comedy.
I frankly don’t want a “Griswold” scheme. I just want some tastefully understated lights that lead the way to the front door (which I am generally able to make hospitable) and glow out toward the street.
This year, however, we had unseasonably warm weather for Chicago (in the 40’s and 50’s), so I was able to get outside and set the spotlights into the ground before it froze. A newly hung trellis allowed me to secure the bright Christmas blue NOEL banner, made by a fabric-artist friend, but stored in a trunk for the last five years. I placed two tabletop trees with their own lights in summer garden pots on either side of the step leading to the front porch. And, when I turned on the light switches—one in the garage and one in the front hall—the lights softly illuminated the outside. It was beautiful.
Could this really be the David R. Mains domicile? No fuses blew. No bulbs cracked. No spotlights tipped over to crash on their flat faces.
On Hawthorne Lane in West Chicago, light shines in the darkness.
“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5.
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.