Luke 15:32 “But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”
The fifteenth chapter of Luke is sometimes known as the “lost” chapter, since it contains the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the story of the prodigal, sometimes called the “lost son.” I gravitated to the “lost” chapter today after being lost in Worcester yesterday trying to get to a Bible Society event. “Wait!” you say. “Why were you lost? What about your GPS?” Ah, yes. That’s exactly my dilemma. On Thursday night, while I was at another event in Boston, thieves smashed my car window and took “Jack,” my beloved GPS.
I got Jack about a year ago when, after losing my way for the third time in Cambridge on work-related missions, I asked the Bible Society to supply one. It made such a difference. I have always had a huge amount of anxiety traveling in cities and to new places. I get lost very easily and when you’re by yourself, it’s very difficult to pay attention to the road and look at printed directions at the same time. At night it is nearly impossible. And then, if you miss a turn and get too far off track, printed directions are useless. They know where you should have gone, but they have no clue where you are now. Until a year ago I always arrived at events with elevated blood pressure.
But Jack changed all that. I could travel the roads with confidence that even if I missed a turn, Jack would simply say “recalculating” and get me there by an alternative route. If I was lost, Jack would find me. But now he’s gone, and until his replacement arrives I have reverted to my anxious ways on the road.
I know this is probably hokey and belongs with those “God is my co-pilot” bumper stickers, but it struck me that God and Jack had a lot in common. Like Jack, God does not actually prevent me from making a wrong turn. I’ve made a number of wrong turns in my life and sometimes those wrong life turns have damaged the car. But God has never given up on me, no matter how lost I have become. God has always been right there to simply say “recalculating” and find me another route to my destination.
Life with God is a cooperative effort. If we turn on the relationship, we’ll get significant help in finding our way. No judgment when we miss a turn, just a new set of directions that match our current location. There are still consequences for wrong turns. We might use more gas, land in a dangerous part of town, or run over nails and potholes that do us damage. But the consequence is never being lost. God remains with us on both the right and the wrong roads, finding new ways to get us to our true home. Thankfully no thieves can steal that.
Thank you, God, for your commitment to finding the lost. Amen.
The new Massachusetts Bible Society website is now live. Visit us at www.massbible.org and click on a building to enter the site. Enjoy!
SpiritWalkers is available in audio as a podcast. Visit www.annerobertson.com/poddevotions.html to subscribe or to listen online.
Be sure to check out my books: Blowing the Lid Off the God-Box and God’s Top 10: Blowing the Lid Off the Commandments. Order now on Amazon.com or check local bookstores.