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:
This Lent I have chosen to give up television as an act spiritual sacrifice (due to fatigue, I often watch too much TV), but when I discovered the third season of Downtown Abbey—which I had missed due to international travel—was being rerun on Monday nights, I made an excuse for myself by rationalizing that I was making up for the weeks before Lent actually began, when I had been overseas and missed the airing of this popular show.
The problem with me and television is that once I turn on the set, I can’t turn it off. I keep hoping there will be something I want to see. Most of the time, there isn’t anything worth my time, but sometimes there is. However, a Lenten vow is a Lenten vow, and my conscience was jogged with a phrase during morning prayers, “Let us make a vow to the Lord our God and keep it.” (Psalm 76:11a)
Just to make sure that I had noticed, a similar phrase was repeated another morning, “I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the Presence of all his people.” (Psalm 116:18) Okay, okay. I get it. If you say you’re going to give up television for Lent, you better give up television for Lent.
However, just as I was beginning to get down on myself, I was reminded of another truth by these comforting words from this liturgical prayer:
“O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways and bring us again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”
So I think it’s OK to watch Downtown Abbey this Monday night, but to develop the practice of turning off the television when the show is over—no channel surfing allowed. (These little godly notices and reminders all come under the category of “noises in the trunk of the car.”)
I love the phrase, “Oh God, whose glory it is always to have mercy…” How often I need to remind myself of this. How often I need to extend mercy to others. How often I need to receive mercy. Even in Lent, when we break a vow, the One who loves us is gracious to all who have gone astray. … I think He is saying to me, “It’s okay. Just make a note of it and don’t do it again.”
He is the extraordinary Heavenly Father who loves us, knows what we are doing, and cares about us anyway.
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.