(Photo by Selma Komisky)
Where The Lost Things Go
By Iain Dick
I don’t know about you guys reading this, but I always felt some affiliation with the Prodigal Son. I mean, I’m the second of two boys, but that’s probably where the similarities end (thank goodness)! But how many of us feel the pressure to get it right? What about the pressure to be just like someone else? Maybe, the thing you feel drawn to is a life that you’ve chosen, where you’re the boss, and no one can tell you what to do?
Well, I think it’s safe to say that most of us feel like that, at least at some point. There is that little rebel voice in our mind who tells us to just quit the job, tell that rude co-worker what we really think of them, or just simply run away – leave town and start afresh somewhere new.
Let’s be honest, there are so many voices, narratives, and messages out there in the world. The world is noisy. It’s cluttered. There is no shortage of people’s opinions, ideologies, philosophies, etc. for us to feed on, or drown in. So, is it any wonder why we simply don’t know where to turn, or what to do in life? Is it any wonder why we do such dumb stuff sometimes because we had an impulse or some other internal pull towards something we shouldn’t?
It looks like I’m asking these as real questions, but I’m not really. We do dumb stuff. We make decisions that we look back on later and think “What was I thinking?!”
Sometimes it’s drastic, obvious, and jarring to see how one big mistake can feel like it’s derailed our entire life. As a teenager, I was caught smoking cigarettes, a number of times. Every time I was caught, it felt like my life was over. I thought I had ruined my relationship with my family because they were so upset. I hadn’t. Life was not ruined, and I don’t smoke. But I was still left with the feeling that I was finished.
But most of the time, it’s not the big, bold mistakes that cause the most damage. It’s the small, subtle, long-term unnoticed things that catch up on us. A simple bad habit can grow into a full-blown addiction, or thinking negatively about someone who hurt us can grow a deep bitterness in us that could spill over into other relationships.
In Colossians (1:22-23), we read about Christ having reconciled us “…in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven…”
And later, in 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”
Even when we stray, get distracted, and lose sight of our God and ourselves, He is still faithful. He has saved us, entirely. It is up to us to make good choices in life to continue in the faith. It’s easy to be persuaded by all of the other messages we hear, but by looking to Christ at every opportunity – that’s where we find strength to not shift from hope.
I often hear phrases from within songs when I think. For this, I heard the song in “Mary Poppins” Returns “Where the Lost Things Go.” As far as we can go, when we’re lost, we are never too far from Christ. We have a Father who is waiting for us to turn back, and run into His arms.