July 28: lost (and found)

It is easy to get lost. Years ago, I purchased a set of cross country skis and one afternoon I left the house to try them out. I went to a park I had hear about outside of a nearby town. There were only a couple of cars in the parking lot when I put on my skiing and started down a trail into the woods. It was beautiful and quiet. I was enjoying every moment and whenever I came to another trail, I would take it. It never even occurred to me that I would not find my way back to the parking lot. But as the sun began to set, I realized that I had no idea where I was and I had not seen another person the entire time I had been skiing. I had not told anyone where I was going. This was before cell phones. I came as close to panicking as I ever have. It took me most of an hour and most of that time praying, but I finally found my way back to the parking lot. It was scary how easy it was to get lost.

Most of us never intend to get lost. We get distracted by life – both the good and the bad. We set off in pursuit of what seems the right thing at the time. It may make sense to us, or maybe we just aren’t thinking. It can take a long time until we know how lost we really are. It is scary how easy it is to get lost, especially when I assume it cannot happen to me.

Peter himself was once led astray. Even Jesus went into the wilderness and was tempted. Surely this was a story that Peter heard Jesus tell many times. If I think it can’t happen to me, I am fooling myself. I know better. Peter knew the believers were susceptable. They could get lost and a great many did. In 2 Peter 2, he was saying, “be on guard”. And as I read the chapter, these words catch hold of me: “the Lord knows how to rescue the goldly from trials”.

So what do I do? What do I do to keep from getting lost? I hear an answer from what I read in Isaiah 55:10-11. “As the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” This is the Word of God for the people of God. Every day – and I have discovered that means every single day, I must listen for the Word from God that is found in scripture.

Because it is scary how easy it is to get lost.

Today’s readings: Isaiah 53-56; 2 Peter 2

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