A few weeks ago we had the amazing opportunity to go on a safari in Zambia, Africa. The excuse was to see Emily, who was completing a two month internship with Action Africa Help International, as part of her Master’s program. But honestly I had always been intrigued by the notion of a safari in Africa, probably influenced by the thrilling adventure and romance of the movie “Out of Africa” with Meryl Streep and Robert Redford.
On our first day out, the four of us along with our guide and his associate Leo (the tracker) boarded a well appointed, open air Land Cruiser in search of big game. Where do you begin to look for a single lion, leopard, rhino or elephant in a 1 million acre national park?
Our guide and tracker were incredibly skilled. They were in search of animals to impress us and we were impressed. Elephants, impalas, hippos, crocodiles, baboons and monkeys. It was fantastic! I was satisfied to have seen so much and then as we entered a more sheltered area, the tracker put his hand on the arm of the guide who was driving the vehicle. The guide slowed the vehicle down and the tracker whispered, “leopard, leopard.” He tones were hushed but we all heard and we strained to look into the thicket to see what our tracker saw.
And there he was, in all his glory, in the middle of the day, the leopard came out of the thicket and literally walked in front of our stopped vehicle. I felt an electric jolt. He was beautiful.
Leopards are known to be very elusive, appearing and disappearing at will in their charged silence. We just watched breathlessly as this big, beautiful cat stopped to look at us, as we looked at him. I knew this was a pretty special moment when after the leopard went back into the thicket the guide and the tracker gave each other a big smile and a discrete “high five”.
I heard someone say later that if you see a wild leopard, it isn't because you find the animal but because it decides to show itself to you.
I am grateful that God isn’t like the leopard. We can find God. God is not elusive - appearing and disappearing at will - though we might feel that we experience God that way. God is ALWAYS with us and wants nothing more than to reveal Himself to us. But if we don’t stop, if we are not looking, if we are not tracking, we might miss God.
So, today go on a God Safari. Be intentional and look for God. If you are tracking God, you will find God and it will leave you breathless