I can’t tell you how many times as a little girl, my mom would send me to the school lost and found for a jacket or a lunchbox or a notebook that I might have forgotten and left behind at school. I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count how many times I have come out of a mall and forgot where I parked. Do you know how many silver or white or black, or whatever make and model and color of the car I might have been driving at the time, there are? There is a reason that little button on your key fob is called the panic button. Then there’s that manic type of panic when you walk out of the wrong Dillard’s store and you are on the completely opposite parking lot than you need to be and you can’t hear the little car honks or see the flashing lights of your car when hitting that little red panic button. You begin to question whether you need to call 911 and report a stolen vehicle, but then there comes one thought of clarity, “Stop, breathe, and retrace your footsteps.” That’s when you realize you walked past the men’s clothing line of Dillard’s and not the women’s shoe department.
Thank goodness for smart phones. I have begun taking pictures of certain landmarks near the place where I park my car. I never exit airport parking garages without making a note of my parking space. I have begun being a bit more intentional about this type of vital information. I have recently learned of valet parking at airports and have begun taking advantage of that divine service.
Why do I have this problem? Why is the lost and found department a close personal aid to me? I need a lost and found in my home; that way Kevin can just put all my misplaced items in it and I will know to go look there first anytime I need to find my keys, my shoes, my gloves, my phone, my head… “Find my iPhone” app is the best invention next to spit, provided I know where my iPad is so that I can hit utilize that app.
I have begun to realize the reason for my dilemma. I just don’t pay attention to what I am doing. I just leave my phone on some random cabinet in some random room of my home. Or, I’m just thinking too far in advance of things I need to do for today. Or, I’m just too busy. Or, I just don’t care. Or, …
The list is long.
Guess what? Mary and Joseph also had my misplacement issue, but they misplaced the Son of God.
Day 1 writing the book, “On the Way,” I found my story once again in the pages of God’s Word. Jesus is 12 years old. His family had traveled to Jerusalem for the annual Passover Festival.
“After the festival was over, while his parents were retuning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking He was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for Him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find Him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for Him. After three days they found Him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.” Luke 2:42-46 NIV.
“When His parents saw Him, they were astonished. His mother said to Him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” “Why were you searching for me?” He asked. Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” Luke 2:48-49 NIV.
Joseph and Mary assumed too much. They were fallible as earthly parents are. Life was busy. They didn’t pay attention. And they lost the Son of God. But as you can see from His answer, it was not He who was lost. They did not misplace Jesus. He was right where they had left Him. It was the place He had to be. Joseph and Mary just had to seek Him out. They had to retrace their footsteps. It was they who had lost their way.
I’ve been there my friends. I feel that is the state of our nation. We have lost our way. We have lost sight of our Savior. He is not lost. He is still at the right hand of the Throne of God. Clouds of division have just obscured our vision of Him. Jesus is right where we have left Him. It is us who left Him. It is us who are stranded. And it is us who need to retrace are steps and return to the Only One who can unite what has been torn asunder.