March 15, 2017
In the wonderful film LION, SAROO a five year old Indian boy, is told by his older brother, to stay on a bench at a train station until he returns. Once the older brother is gone for awhile, Saroo strays on to a empty train, falls asleep and ends up in thousands of miles from his home in Calcutta Lost and unable to get back home. This would have consequences for this little boy for the rest of his life. He was LOST to his family.
In the 1970’s at the hight of what’s referred to as the Jesus Movement, Evangelical Born Christians started several marketing campaigns to promote Christianity.
One of the most popular was the “I Found It” campaign that had bumper stickers, coffee cups, t-shirts and buttons with the slogan “I Found It.” Where I grew up in Southern California, I would see this slogan on cars and t-shirts all over the place. It was very well intended and hopefully helped many in there Faith journey.
The truth is God Finds us, after all God is not lost, we are Lost. As Jesus demonstrates in this passage from Luke, He is going out to Sinner to find them. God is constantly seeking us out, finding us. As we read in Jesus’ Parable about the lost Sheep that illustrates God’s great love for us that he would leave the flock to find the one lost sheep. And who’s fault was it that the Sheep was lost?
The Sheep was lost because it strayed from the flock much like Saroo who grew impatient waiting for his brother to return. Straying or taking there eyes off of the Shepherd, got distracted by perhaps food, TV or work, preoccupation with other things! Like the Sheep I am easily distracted. I stray from the flock and take my eyes off the Shepherd, I can easily get LOST.
As we began LENT this year as we often do, Robin and I have that conversation about what we are going to sacrifice or do to be more focused on our relationship with God. Typically I would focus on giving up something like wine or coffee. This year I have been very aware of m how distracted I have been from Jesus and things of faint. I wanted to focus on the distractions that causes me to Stray and take my eyes off the Shepherd, to Get Lost.
I thought about what distracts me the most, what gets me LOST and STRAYING. It’s the NEWS!! I am a constant consumer of NEWs, TV News, NPR on the Radio on the way to work, Internet News. It can distract me and make me think I have to Know Whats Going On of every moment of the day. I had CNN News Alerts to my iphone notifying me of the most mundane News developments!
Knowing about all these things I have no control over, gives me a since of control. It can dominate my thoughts and conversations, DID You HEAR What HAPPENED TODAY? I want to focus on my Relationship to Jesus and to my faith community. I only allow myself to read the newspaper, no TV, Radio or Internet News. After a week I noticed I felt a lot less anxious, I also noticed only reading the news lessoned my emotional reactions and pre-occupation with it.
We all get LOST in something. Jesus is in constant pursuit of us as our Shepherd. Jesus is in those around us seeking us, calling us telling us he Loves us. Jesus is always looking to Find you and ME, the ones who get LOST in so many distractions.
Our job is work to listen for his voice and allow ourselves to be FOUND.