On Saturday, June 22, three teams of West Side congregants scoured the UWS for a scavenger hunt as part of the Center for Faith & Work’s month-long program, NYC Re-imagined. The participants were required to take snapshots of themselves with anything from a non-existent subway stop to the place where Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan had coffee in the hit movie, You’ve Got Mail. What do these things have to do with faith or cultural renewal? Was this just a crazy social event meant to bring neighbors together for a fun day?
NYC is one of the most unique and exciting places to live, yet often we go about our days rushing from work meeting to personal appointment to social engagement. How often do we stop, not only to think about, but actually to care about the infrastructure that makes it possible for over 8 million people to live and work and actually flourish in such close proximity? What is it about NYC that makes it the most visited city in the world, drawing more than 52 million visitors in 2012? And does God actually care about the efficiency of our transit system? These are several of the questions I hoped would arise as each team sought to discover the 5 bus routes that run north/south through the UWS.
If we take seriously the sovereignty of God and the extent of his reign, then we come to understand that God is at work throughout this city. In Romans 1:20 we read “since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made…” Do you see the invisible qualities of God made manifest all across this great city? Do you see how God is using you to reflect his glory and sovereignty through your own work? How does your particular area of work contribute to the greater flourishing of NYC? This is what we hope people came to consider and better understand through the 30+ offerings engaging nearly 400 people across the month of June as part of NYC Re-imagined.
So I urge you to take the time out of your busy day to look with new eyes at the city we inhabit. Ask the questions that too often go unasked. Consider the impact that a 24 hour, 365 day a year subway system has upon the opportunities and quality of life for millions of people made in the image of God. See God at work in new ways.
If you want to recreate the UWS Scavenger Hunt with a group of your own, it’s available on the CFW website at www.faithandwork.org/hunt.