Friday, July 28, 2017

Lost and Found


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.

Do you ever forget where you park your car when you go shopping?  I have.  The ironic thing is, though, I'm more prone to "lose" my car in the relatively small parking lot of our local Publix than I am at Costco or any other big box store.

There are two reasons for this.  Number one:  As I drive a modestly-sized Scion, its whereabouts is easily concealed by any truck or SUV parked next to it.  The Publix lot, being of insignificant size, poses no problem for me locating it in a short span of time.  Number two:  When I park at Costco with its HUGE (my word for the year) lot, and rarely spaces available anywhere near the store, I am oh, so careful to note where I've parked my car relative to the entrance.  Because I'm extra conscious of location, finding my Scion after my shopping trip is always a breeze.

And it is no different during my last venture to Costco on my monthly run.  I find a space, take stock of my surroundings, grab my Costco I.D., our debit card, my list, the keys, lock the car, and I'm off to the races.

Maybe it's because the store is uncomfortably crowded on this day.  Or that it's taking me longer than expected to score the items I need.  Or that the checkout lanes are monstrously long.  Whatever the reason, by the time I exit the store and set out confidently toward my car, it isn't long before I realize the unthinkable.  

It's.  NOT.  Where.  I.  Left.  It!!!

My mind begins to race, entertaining a whole host of illogical and panic-inducing scenarios, while my body fries in the 100+ degree heat radiating off the asphalt.  It has to be here!  Could someone have actually stolen it?  My keys are right here in my hand!  Oh, great!  My purse AND my phone are in the car.  All my cash and credit cards . . . I can't even call for help!  Is this how Alzheimer's starts?  Will I end up like Dad?  Oh, please, Lord, please!  Where is my car?

Roving hither and yon like a mad woman, crazily willing my Scion to miraculously appear, God grants me a saving thought of clarity.  You simply forgot where you parked.  Go!  Look!  With a combined wave of determination and perspiration, I push my cart up, up, up the hill, hoping beyond hope that when I turn the next corner, my car will be in plain sight.

Oh, joy!  Rapture!  There is my sweet, silver Scion parked exactly where I didn't remember leaving it.  As tears of relief fill my eyes, I'm so grateful for the sunglasses I'm wearing.  Over and over and over again, with every sweaty step I take, I thank God that what I thought was lost has now been found.

~

"Losing" my car on this day called to mind the verse above from the Gospel of Luke.  When we wander away from God's will, when we stray like errant sheep, He calls us back to Himself, and rejoices when we, like the Prodigal Son, return to His open arms.  There in God's embrace, we find our hope, our comfort, and our purpose.

And we can rest in His peace, knowing we are never separated from His presence.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
~Psalm 139:7-10

Amen!

22 comments:

  1. So far I've been spared that. :) I remember years ago a woman could not find her car where she knew it was parked. I drove her around and even though it was the same care it was not hers. It wasn't the right color. I told her to try it anyway. It was the right car. The lights had changed the color of her car. (It was night). Good story to illustrate a timeless passage Martha. That is your name right?

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    1. Lol, Bill, now that is FUNNY!
      Poor lady . . . I know just how she feels. Glad you were there to be a Good Samaritan for her.
      And the passage certainly is timeless, I agree.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. Good word, Martha. And, yes, I've done the same thing. So, now I try to mentally note exactly where my car is to parking lot lights or if the rows are numbered or proximity to the building entrance. Great analogy and so thankful the Lord finds us again and again when we lose sight of Him.

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one out there, Karen! Yes, it is so important to really study the surroundings when we park, especially if the lot is a huge as Costco's.
      And yes, I, too, am so grateful that God will always seek us out when we've wandered away.
      Love and blessings!

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  3. Martha, It's interesting to realize how easily we can get lost in this world--that's what is coming to my mind as I read through your post. We may lose so many things and wander around in a daze, yet Jesus finds us and gives us comfort, healing, and more.

    In a completely different vein, I too have struggled finding my car, especially after I got the one I have now. The change was drastic enough that it could be a tad confusing. :)

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Great observation, Kim! We can get lost all too easily in this flawed and fallen world. The enemy strives to distract and discourage us, hoping we will waver in our faith. Thank goodness our Good Shepherd never allows His sheep to go astray! We are blessed!
      Love and blessings!

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  4. My thing is locking the doors with key in the ignition and motor running. A long time ago I did that and ran out of gas. The car ran quite a while I would imagine before it finally stopped. I went to lunch with a friend that day. I didn't discover my blight until time to go home. It was a looong day! 😊

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    1. Oh, Nells, what a nightmare! I, too, locked my keys in my car many, many years ago - that was before we had the remote key fobs to remind us not to lock the door until we exit the car. Needless to say, after that ordeal, I double/triple-checked to make sure my keys were in my hand.
      Love and blessings!

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  5. Martha, I used to forget where I park. I finally learned to look around for landmarks before I walk away.
    I'm so glad that we are never far away from our Jesus!

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    1. It's a good habit to get into, Beckie, that's for sure. And like you, I'm so grateful that Jesus is with us always.
      Love and blessings!

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  6. yep have done the same thing and love that you turned this into a spiritual lesson with my favorite psalm! I get lazy - counting on my hubby to remember where to park so it isn't a ritual for me at all when I shop by myself to remember where I park. Lose my car far more than I care to admit it. I drive an Equinox which right now a fairly common one - too often I have tried to open the wrong car too. now that's embarrassing.

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    1. Oh, Jean, I'm so relieved to know I'm not by myself on this one, and so glad I've quoted your favorite Psalm. I could not help but include it here. After I was safely in the car, this one came to mind, too. Where can we go that we are ever lost from the Lord? No where!
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Once when I was young enough that I should have had a memory, I took my dad's car somewhere instead of mine and parked in a parking garage. When I came back, I started looking for my car and couldn't find it. I finally went to the attendant and reported my car missing. He asked me if I was sure I knew what I was driving, and I thought that was ridiculous. Of course I did. He went with me to look, and when we passed my dad's car I remembered. I was tempted to just brazen it out, but I knew I was busted. I had to admit that I was driving a different car which was right there in front of us. Gosh, I don't think I ever told this story before! Besides that, I have "lost" my own car in a parking lot many times. And the keys in my house. And where did I leave the kids? (Just kidding on the last one. Am I??) Ha!

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  8. Oh, Galen, how I love your downright honesty on this experience! I know with this latest one for me, I felt busted to the extreme. I'm honored, while my heart goes out to you, that you would share this misadventure here!
    Love and blessings!

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  9. Wonderful story, and I feel so much better knowing I am not alone in this lost and found car thing!!! One time years ago I was shopping with my Dad, (while he was still able to drive), and when we came out of the store we went to what we thought was his white car, opened the door (it wasn't locked!, but this was several years ago), sat down inside, and my dad tried to put his keys in the ignition and they wouldn't fit! We were both perplexed, until I noticed a Mcdonald's cup in the cup holder and said, Daddy, I don't think we had a McDonald's cup in here, did we? He said, "No". We both looked at each other and laughed and said at the same time, "We're in the WRONG car!" We quickly hopped out and looked around, and there was his white car, same make and model, just a few spaces away! Thankfully the owner of this car didn't see us and we were able to get away without any more embarrassment or trouble! So thankful God was watching over us, and things were a little safer back then so people didn't think they needed to lock their cars...or their houses...or their churches... Times have changed!

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    1. You had me chuckling with this story, Pamela. What a great memory!
      Yes, times have changed, and not for the better when it comes to protecting our property. Such a shame! But we can rest assured that God is always the same, no matter what.
      Love and blessings!

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  10. I don't know what I'd do without the "I'm over here" button on my car key. At least that's what I call that beep it makes when I lock the car. I can't tell you how many times I've used it to help me find my car again after a shopping outing. Loved the verse you shared. It's one of my favorites!

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    1. Oh, Deb, I'm so glad that the verse I shared is one of your favorites. You share so many meaningful and applicable ones on your blog, you never cease to inspire me.
      Danny did ask me, after this incident, if I even thought to use my emergency/panic button. Of course, I didn't, but it would have bee the perfect time to do so! Guess I was allowing myself to be "lost" in the moment instead of turning to God first. Boy, do I have so much to learn!
      Love and blessings!

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  11. Its amazing how we can find things that we thought was lost, a great lesson that you have told wonderfully. Nice of you to share, thank you!

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Blogoratti! We are never really and truly lost, are we? We simply have to keep the faith.
      Love and blessings!

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  12. If it wasn't for my car remote which opens my doors and beeps at me, I would have spent countless hours searching for my car, Martha :)

    I did have my very first car I bought stolen. Luckily, the stolen car didn't cost very much and it ultimately led to a newer, better car.

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    1. Oh, I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one, Vishnu! So sorry you had your first car stolen, though. Even though it led to having a better one, it's always a traumatic realization.
      Love and blessings!

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