As mentioned in the last post, being lost is being separated from God. Anything that takes us away from Our Father would make us lost. However, I’m not talking about being lost in the sense of not being a child of God or not knowing God. I’m not talking about losing your salvation as a child of God either because I believe that:
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2: 8-9
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
I’m referring to the condition illustrated in the parables of the Lost Son, the lost coin and the lost sheep. In all three of these cases, the son, the coin and the sheep, although “lost,” all still belong to the “Owner/Father.” There is no indication they don’t belong anymore regardless of their current condition. Basically, they’ve just lost their way at the moment. The very fact that the Father/Owners go looking for them or run after them makes me think they always belong. They never lost their place. They were just temporarily misplaced.
I don’t believe that this temporary misplacement only occurs due to a life of debauchery either. It could be caused by anything that takes our sight away from His Face. It could be something noble, smart and good, like our desire to protect our family by offering them financial security, or our desire to do works for the church or even our desire for justice in the world and retribution for the oppressed. It could even be the very mission we perceived as given to us by God.
We lose our way, in my opinion, when our mission or our cause becomes more valuable than Christ Himself. However profoundly righteous it may be, once our cause or our mission, whatever we call it, consumes us enough to make us forget about the reason we do it, we’ve wandered onto the wrong path. We lose our way when we forget that the goal of everything we do is to glorify God, to be closer to Christ and to lead others to Him through our testimony.
Sometimes we are so engulfed in the practical application of our day-to-day that we forget to look inwards. We forget to “watch ourselves.” Like, for instance, being a Mother. Probably the highest calling a woman ever receives directly from God, motherhood is entangled in the challenge of balancing the impossible task of raising a decent/God-seeking human and being and not getting lost in the process.
I’ve always been a nervous wreck…but ever since I became a Mother my ability to let go and just chill has been nullified. A memorable example that would probably live in the infamous book of not-so-happy memories, happened a few years ago while I was consumed by the idea of moving to a different community and all the implications of such move…mainly, changing the kids to a different school system/district. At the time, my older son, Grant was finishing 5th grade which meant he’d be starting middle school at the new district and Dylan was finishing first. Not only that, but up until then, both of them had attended a tiny Christian School since kindergarten. To tell you the truth, and knowing my kids’ personalities and life-circumstances, I wasn’t as worried about Dylan as much as I was about Grant. Changing schools at the onset of adolescence is nobody’s idea of a good idea.
The decision was made, however, and we were moving…but my heart was in turmoil. I could not think about anything else other than finding the right house, in the right neighborhood and about how Grant was going to ever fit in and deal with the cultural change that would certainly be brought up by being immersed in the Public School environment. If you don’t know Grant, he is…how shall I say this politely…socially challenged at multiple levels. I knew the change was NOT going to be easy or smooth at all. I couldn’t sleep thinking about the whole thing. I was anxious, nervous, afraid and mad all at the same time. I kept second-guessing myself and torturing myself with the idea that I was potentially going to ruin my son’s life. I did everything in excess…except pray. I focused on the winds and the waves and took my eyes away from His face. I wandered off into the wrong path. I was lost. I was lost in my own inability to solve the problem at hand. I was lost in my own efforts to calm the storm that was raging within me. I was lost and weak from trying to resolve everything by my own strength.
A bunch of other things happened to me around the same time that I was consumed with worry about my kids. Among others, my Dad had recently passed away, I was in the middle of estate disputes with my siblings, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and Dan lost his job shortly after we moved. Needless to say, life was rough. I was scared. I felt alone. I was in a dark place. I had lost my way. God, however, in His infinite mercy and love, turned on the light and not only allowed me to see the path again, but He came to me and met me. As I stood paralyzed and weighed down by the heaviness of my situation, God’s Hand tightened His grip around mine and placed me back on the road. He gave me back a firm footing, and motioned my feet to move again, one step at a time.
I was the lost coin…the lost sheep…the lost daughter. And it was terrifying. This experience taught me that I needed to make some drastic changes on the way I approach life. I need to seek Him first, and everything else will fall into place. But it also taught me that even if I forget that the main thing for me to do is to seek Him…and I lose my way…He rescues me, for He is never gone. He is always with me. Therefore, I am never truly lost. Even if I’m misplaced, one thing is certain, He always finds me.