Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Lost and Found

What a difference 12 degrees makes. This morning the temp was 39F when I walked, I think I almost broke a sweat. This was much better walking weather than the 27 yesterday. On to the Blog . . .

Do you remember the Lost and Found room or closet at school? Maybe there is a table where you assemble for worship that has misplaced items on it. You may be like folks I know who always know where the lost and found area is, because that is where they seem to always find their belongings. Losing sunglasses, a book, a set of keys, or a pair of gloves can be momentarily tragic. Some things we lose we even shrug off as not that important or not that valuable. Every summer at Indian Creek Youth Camp ( ) campers and staff alike find clothes, coolers, bags, pillows, stuffed animals, and Bibles on a given lost and found table on the last day -- all given up as lost. Some never check the table and these items collect until someone has to make a decision concerning disposal or redistribution.

But what about when people are lost? When I was about 12 my family took a trip to Orlando and visited Disney and their "New" Epcot Center. My dad and I went one direction while my brothers and mom went on a different ride. We were supposed to meet at a certain place. Dad and I arrived first and I asked if I could go get a drink of water. Dad allowed me the freedom to go by myself. I made it to the fountain, but got turned around on the way back. I ended up on the other side of the park from my parents. PANIC set in. I finally realized my when I came back to the water fountain. I immediately went to our meeting place all to find mom with a worried look, an upset younger brother (upset not at my being lost, but that he could not ride again until I was found), and discovering that my dad and older brother were looking for me. This was long before cell phones so there was a lot of waiting that day.

This week there are stories in the news about people who are lost. Children like Brenna Woodside, who was taken by her father Miles Woodside to Mexico. What a tangled web people weave in custody battles. There is great relief in knowing Brenna is alright and that the FBI found her and returned her home. But not all missing persons stories turn out favorably. I have in mind the missing NFL players off the coast of Clearwater, Florida. Out of four people on board the Coast Guard was able to find and recover only one. Our hearts are with the families of those still missing.

There is a spiritual application. Luke 15 records the story of a son who ran away from home (declaring that he no longer wanted to me a son), a sheep that became separated from the flock, and a women who lost a valued coin. In each someone wept over the lost and rejoiced when reconciliation occurred. The simple application for us is threefold: 1) We can find ourselves spiritually lost - separated from God the Father, because of our sinful actions. 2) God desperately seeks us when we are lost because His heart breaks. And 3) There is great joy and celebration the the lost return home.

Friends, are you lost or have you found your way home?

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