— Midweek Meditations:
thoughts, inspiration and encouragement
from ACF community members —
If there was an award for losing things and/or getting lost, I am sure I would win it. You name it, I have lost it, but the things I have lost the most are my key, earrings, and my wallet. Luckily most of the time I end up finding what is lost but, in the phase, where things are lost, there is a terrible feeling of panic that rises in me. My pulse raises, my palms are sweaty, and my thoughts go quickly to the worse-case scenario.
This happened most recently when I had stopped at the Alnatura supermarket to pick up a few things. Having arrived super relaxed, my mood changed quickly as I went to lock my bike and couldn’t find my keys. After emptying my bag and checking the outer pockets, I was panicky. I was already thinking about where I would sleep at night because I wouldn’t be able to get back into my house! Then it dawned on me. I had put my keys in my pants pockets which, at the time, seemed logical. Then I wouldn’t have to search through my entire bag to find them. Sometimes I am smarter than my own good! In the blink of an eye, I went from extreme stress to incredible joy and gratitude.
If losing objects can generate these reactions, imagine what happens when I feel lost! This, too, is ranked highly in my list of talents! With each hike I plan at least 45 minutes extra for getting lost. When I sense I’ve went the wrong way, it is as if my heartbeat increases proportionate to the distance from the last trail marker. I automatically break into prayer, asking Jesus to please show me the way. Then, when the white trail marker comes into view, I feel as if it is Christmas morning. Yippee! I am not lost after all!
The ultimate sense of being lost, however, can be independent of our circumstances – feeling spiritually lost or alone. Granted, this feeling might be more expected when everything seems to be falling apart. With the war in the Ukraine, the rising inflation, sickness of loved ones, maybe a job loss or whatever else (you fill in the blank), it could be easy to feel as if this is the case and the world is lost. Jesus and His loving embrace seem nowhere to be found.
It could be, however, that your personal circumstances are good. You are experiencing a time of prosperity – new job opportunity or a promotion, intoxicated by a new romantic relationship or blessed by amazingly close friendships or family connections. Despite or amidst all this you feel a surprising sense of emptiness. You feel spiritually lost. Your energy is drained, and your pulse starts to raise.
If you identify with either of these scenarios, I am with you and have good news for you. First, you are normal. There is nothing weird about you (or if there is, then I am weird too. You haven’t necessarily done anything gravely wrong. It happens. Second, Jesus will find you – no matter where you might be. In Luke 15:1-7 Jesus tells the parable of the shepherd who leaves the 99 to find the one sheep that is lost. When he finds it, he joyfully puts it upon his shoulders and goes home.
Similarly, right after Judas turns Jesus over to the chief priests and Pharisees, Jesus repeats what He said in John 6:39, “I have not lost one of those you gave me” (John 18:9). Even in His darkest hour, with the cross looming before Him, Jesus makes a point of reiterating His protective and loving nature.
Wherever you are, how ever you are feeling, may you know that Jesus sees you. In the beloved hymn, Amazing Grace, there is a line, “I once was lost, but now am found.” For all of you who, like me, often feel lost, join me in praying an adapted version of the lyrics, “Jesus, I feel lost, but know that you find me, again and again.” May each of us feel the warmth and security of the Jesus’ arms as He joyfully carries us home – repeatedly!
The ACF Midweek Meditations
are written by a diverse group of our church members with the intention to seek God’s fingerprints in our lives. They range from somber to humorous and are inspired by all facets of live and faith. Written by ordinary people from all walks of life, they reflect a wide range of Christian backgrounds and spiritualities.
Each week’s text portrays the individual viewpoint of its author. They might not always resonate with everyone, and are not meant to be understood as representing the Anglican Church Freiburg as a whole. Yet, as a church that is aiming to ‘Build a Community of Grace’ we seek to practice learning from and listening to one another.
We pray that these humble ponderings add a small spark of blessing to your week.