Years ago, I use this to preface too many of my comments…a sure sign of old age, we used to listen to a radio program in the mornings before our kids left for school.
It was when we lived in Miami, FL but the program was out of Wheaton, IL. It was called The Chapel of the Air and it was led by David and Karen Burton Mains. It was a 15 minute morning program.
One of the projects they started during the time we listened was the 50 Day Spiritual Adventure. It was especially for churches who aren’t into the church year, you know, sort of the non-ritual churches’ answer to Lent. It was during the 50 days before Easter.
Their desire was to make this a family exercise so all ages of the family could be involved. They also wanted to bring back some of the positives of the church year, like preparing for lent…instead of worrying about what clothes we were getting for Easter, we were focusing on some spiritual exercises.
THE GOD HUNT
During at least one of the years, they introduced The God Hunt. I LOVED it! It was as good for me as it was for my children! The idea was that during the day, we would be hunting for God in the events of our day.
Sometimes, it was in very small ways where we had lost something, we prayed and He helped us find it. Others, it was being aware of His hand of protection on us in either preventing an accident or lessening the injuries/damage that might have happened (can you tell that happened to me?). Maybe He would help give us courage to do something we were afraid of…or we would see His hand in His creation around us.
Just making the time to look for Him, and make a family game of it, was helpful to all of us. At supper, we would ask about where each of us had seen God that day on our God Hunt. This memory is from 20 plus years ago so I’m sorry I don’t remember many of the stories. I do know we did it…for more than one year. Writing it down helped a lot! I have it written down…somewhere.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
I recently looked on the internet to see what the Mains are doing now. Evidently, there was a rumor that was started about them not long after we used to listen to them that resulted in their savings and the money they had earned from their books being wiped out!
(You may have heard of Karen’s classic book on hospitality-Open Heart, Open Home.) They also wrote three chidren’s books that were collections of allegories that were very well done. I still remember the Juggler one…and Scarface. Unfortunately, in my move to the Peoria area, those books were lost. I miss them. I wanted to read them to my grandchildren!
Karen has a website and speaks some. To me it is sad. Although we are not in the same denominational affiliation and would not agree on every theological point, I have always admired their desire to make following Christ a very practical exercise and one that in many ways is very concrete.
Reading one of the articles on Karen’s site about their life now and some of the sorrows they have lived through made me sad for them on one hand but joyful that God has helped them continue to persevere through very hard times including the death of one of their grown sons from a brain tumor, leaving a widow and small children. That really is what this life is all about. Sometimes we lose sight of that truth!
So what is my point? Yes, I did ramble. The stories of people are interesting and important. Fortunately, those things are interesting to God too. He redeems the parts of our stories that are horrid and black. The parts we often try to hide and pretend aren’t there. But when it comes to showing His glory, those are often the places where His glory has the best chance to shine! It is that whole thing about His economy: When we are weak, He is strong.
We see it in places like, “...for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so the power of Christ may rest upon me…For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (II Corinthians 12:9-10)
GOD’S REDEMPTIVE STORY
We also see it in live stories of people like Jacob, who had to walk with a limp after struggling with God. At that point, his name was changed from Jacob (supplanter) to Israel (he strives with God…part of what happened as the God of his fathers became his God) . cf. Genesis 32: 22-32. When he was weak, God was able to use him in ways he couldn’t when Jacob was depending on his own scheming ways!
Look at David, as a young teen boy. God used him to bring glory to Himself when David killed Goliath. There was nothing inherently powerful or great about David at the time. He was the only one who seemed upset that Goliath was blaspheming God’s name and His glory…and David was not willing to let it continue. As David trusted in God, he was able to be victorious over Saul.
Of course, there are many throughout Scripture who bear the same thing out: Gideon (his small army was trimmed down to only 300 men to go against that massive army; Deborah, a woman of all things; and even Paul, a man who was very gifted in many ways, but had a thorn of some sort that made him weak at times. Because of this, He was forced to have to depend on God for the strength to do the things God was requiring of him.
All that came out of my “brief” introduction to the God Hunt:) I hope you’ll start doing this with your family, your friends and others with whom you come in contact. Isn’t it a much more encouraging conversation starter?
Have you been on a God Hunt today?
Where are seeing Him active in your life?
How? Can you tell me about it? It will get us out of some of our conversational ruts and give us opportunities to encourage each other. Start your God Hunt today…not matter what your age!
Feel free to answer the above questions in the comments. I’d love to hear some of your stories about the God Hunt in your home…with your spouse or kids, or the solitary one you are taking as you hold God’s hand!
I updated this on August 24, 2023 and had to remove quite a few links because they were no longer working. This included karen’s website that existed, but wasn’t really set up correctly.