We’re going on a what hunt?
Over the last couple of months there have been many fun and innovative ways people have responded to the physical distancing and isolation regulations.
One of my favourites, and one that has taken the world by storm, has been the ‘Bin Isolation Outing Group’ on Facebook. People have dressed up in all sorts of costumes and settings just to take the bin out, as apparently the bin was going out more than them. It began in Australia and now has members all over the world and boasts over 1 million members. Some of the costumes and the imagination people have shown is amazing.
Other things have inspired people into action too, including a very popular children’s book. Most of us have either read as children or read to our own children the book, ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’. In the book, a family set out on a walk, through fields, streams and mud bravely in pursuit of a ‘big one’ and encounter something very unexpected along the way. I will leave you to read the rest if you haven’t. Actions and sounds bring the story to life and make it fun for children and adults alike.
Recently in many places the book has inspired physical distanced or virtual bear hunts with people placing teddy bears and similar in their windows, gardens and trees outside the front of the home. The idea is, as parents walk with their children to exercise, the children try and see how many and where the bears are in their neighbourhood keeping children interested and engaged.
As our isolation restrictions begin to ease, although we can’t meet with others in groups for prayer and worship yet, I was thinking the other day about how to engage children and adults with prayer and reflection as we walk and exercise.
The idea struck me of going on a ‘Prayer Hunt’. While out walking I began to look for spots that spoke to me in different ways to shape my prayers.
At each place I stopped, offered prayers shaped by the place, reflected on scripture and various situations and moved on. Some places were chosen for their natural features of plants or rocks, others I chose for the surrounds or view, some were manmade, such as benches for resting, play equipment for children or sports fields or buildings. It was interesting how this engagement shaped my quiet time and reflections. It was also interesting how I saw some of the same places I have walked by many times in different ways.
I think it would also be wonderful to see which special places in your neighbourhood children might pick and how those spaces speak to them as you walk with your them and share your prayers.
Of course you don’t have to be with children because anyone can go on a prayer hunt. I know I am enjoying my prayer hunts as I find new ways and new places to be out and about in prayer and reflection at this time. I hope you may too.
Now during those days Jesus went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God. (Luke 6:12)
Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. (Romans 12:12)
Reverend Mark Leam