La Verkin, Utah

Most folks offer advice on how to find God. But simply looking around at the natural world and its endless majesty suggests it is not very hard to find God. Perhaps it is our criteria that makes it harder to find evidence of God than it normally would? What if God could be anything that makes us feel awe?

Back in the 70s, my wife and I went to see a famous Christian singer named Kevin Gould. He had written a song asking this very same question. Just last year my mentor and colleague Dr. Markey and myself asked Kevin Gould (now Pastor Gould) if we might use his song in our research, and he kindly said yes.

The name of that song is simply, The Question.

It goes something like this…

This child had a simple question. Have you seen God? How can I find Him?

First, the child went to the expert he knew best – his hard-working dad. But the child’s dad had too much on his mind, and was just too busy to look for God.

So he kept looking. He ran into a preacher. What a stroke of luck! Surely the preacher’s job was to find God! But when the child asked him, this expert told the child he was not smart enough to find God. Curiously, the disciples shooed away the children who came to see Jesus on the Mount too, as he was sharing with everyone who came there to see Him – how to find God.

Lastly, the boy stumbled on an old man gazing at the majesty all around him. He was neither a wise preacher nor a hard-working man. How could he possibly know how to find God? How could someone who simply adored Creation have worked hard enough or been intelligent enough to find God? Yet he smiled and exclaimed, “Son, when I look around, I thinks I sees nothin’ else.”

This classic tune by a famous Christian artist suggests that seeking God doesn’t require poring over books or learning a trade (even if those do seem to be the best way). Sometimes simply sitting still and letting God come to you is often enough to seek the kingdom of heaven.

When I looked around – back in Zion, Utah – it didn’t take me very long to find God. And when I see the glitter on the lake here in Hot Springs National Park, it doesn’t take me very long either. Sometimes it’s the mountains. Sometimes it’s a kind act by young men helping out an old man who just moved from Arkansas to Utah and back.

This tune suggests that God is only as hard to find as you make Him

The Question © 1976 by Kevin Gould. On True Stories [LP]. Waco, TX: Myrrh Records. Used by permission.

So we set out to test that theory. We are pursuing a set of experiments that may help us see whether or not we are too busy to notice God, or too picky to admit we just saw God in a flower or a mountain. How long will it take you to find God in this scene? How many times will you see God in this scene? We can use any object – for example, if we ask you to find a bat, how long will it take you to find one? Well, if you are looking for a Lil’ Slugger (a piece of wood) and the bat is actually a Fledermaus (a flying mammal), it will take you a long time. In the same way, if we think God must look a certain way, it will take longer to find Him than if we let God appear as anything at all that brings us comfort inside. Someone named Donders conducted studies just like this (only he wasn’t looking for God). Still, whatever we seek, the delay before we find our goal object will depend on how picky we are. The number of objects should be uncountable, and their figure ineffable.

Our hidden object study (based on basic reaction-time principles used in psychology) is ready and just awaiting IRB approval at two faith-based institutions… here’s a sneak peek…!


Gould, K. (1976). The question [Recorded by K. Gould]. On True stories [LP]. Waco, TX: Myrrh Records.

Markey, M. A. & Meinecke, L. M. (2020). Examining biophilia and societal indifference to environmental protection. Hershey, PA: IGI Global Publishing. doi:10.4018/978-1-7998-4408-2