‘Go on a scavenger hunt with God – look for signs of His presence.’ http://cdn.creativeandfree.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/40-Days-of-Tiny-Adventures-List.pdf
We’ve been on both treasure and scavenger hunts with our Boys’ Brigade lads. One summer night, my son carefully laid a trail of paper fish, cunningly stuck to trees, lamp posts, street signs and all sorts for the boys to find and follow to the ‘golden treasure’ of a hot fish and chip supper. We’ve followed a commercial treasure trail around a nearby town to find the letters to a clue word to send off for a prize. Other times we’ve given the boys lists of things to find within a set area: in the local park we’ve given them each a match box to fill with as many different items as possible; we’ve asked them to find something of every colour of the rainbow; we’ve given them lists of natural objects to find – smooth, prickly, hard, soft, round, spikey; but my favourite so far has been the Teddy Scavenger Hunt.
For this, pairs of boys with an adult were given a list of things for their teddies to do and bring back photographic proof. The list included things like:
- Teddy travels
- Teach Teddy to cross the road safely
- How high can Teddy go?
- Teddy loves flowers
- Indian Teddy
- Chinese Teddy
- Thirsty Teddy
- Fun Teddy
Photos came back of teddies at bus stops, on the top of slides, up trees, against billboards, checking the menus at local Indian and Chinese restaurants, with teddy size cups in coffee shops, and on a motorised Peppa Pig ride in the mall. I’m not sure who had the most fun – boys or adults.
But do you know the difference between a scavenger hunt and a treasure hunt? The latter relies on following a trail of clues to find a hidden object whereas the former consists of collecting, usually within a time limit, a series of miscellaneous objects.
So a scavenger hunt with God? What would be the miscellaneous signs on our list that would reveal His presence?
My mum had an uncanny knack for spotting beautiful things in unlikely places whilst doing something else. She’d stop to look at the sunset, delight in daisies growing in the verge, listen to birdsong outside the open window. Perhaps we too should actively and purposefully look for God in the beauty of creation.
During a busy or stressful day, that can be hard. But all is not lost. We can look back for the signs of God along our way. I’ve had a day like that but, home very late, if I take the time, those signs are there:
The moment I stood at the window admiring my neighbour’s tree gradually turning from green to gold to scarlet reminds me of God’s artistry. A call from my husband abroad and texts from my sons at the other end of the country tell me I’m loved and remind me God is never distant. Finally getting to the end of my To Do list at work prompts gratitude for time and the opportunity to help others. A meal out with colleagues shows me community, growing friendships, and encouragement.
When I look back, God has been all around me.
So I can try to be intentional in looking for Him or I can be retrospective in acknowledging Him. Either way, He’s there and the signs aren’t miscellaneous at all.