I wrote an article a few years back about getting lost in the streets of Quiapo, Recto and Divisoria. I have not been to those places in a long while but I could still say that it is an effective but not time and energy efficient way to get to know a place. When you get lost in the city you have to learn to immerse yourself in the experience. Do not fret or else you would miss out on the scenes and experiences that only locals know.
Recently it is easy to find your way around any place with the help of mobile technology. Maps and compasses are readily available in gadgets. On a recent trip to Davao City, I tried to get walk around the city like I used to in Manila and use the GPS on my phone when I got too tired to explore. Gone are the days when you would panic because you missed a turn or you could not find the street you are looking for.
While technology has given us ways to find our where exactly we are on the map, it still could not give us directions to our deepest longing. In fact, once we solved our road directional problems, we are left with a glaring loss of direction to God. Simply put, with the coming technology it is easy to lose sight of what is important and just stare at our gadgets. It is easy to look at social media and like things likable there or install a Bible app all for the sake of looking like we use them. It is relatively easy to share a verse or a devotional quote and also easier to ignore the quotes and skim through it without really grasping its meaning.
Getting lost from the sight of God is easier nowadays.
Yet the patterns are still discernible. The stories of the lost coin, sheep and son still mirrors the patterns we mislead ourselves.
The sheep is easily mislead. It is stupid by nature. It seems that it does not have a mind of its own and would rather follow the Shepherd that takes care of it. It is true that science have discovered that sheep can learn, but ask a shepherd and he will tell you differently. When you get lost like a sheep you get easily mislead by the things, people or entities that pretend to lead you to your shepherd. There are texts, quotes and messages that makes you think that it is a message from God or a prophecy from God or a fulfillment of so and so but then lose sight of the real Shepherd that you should be focusing on. There are people on TV or on the web that speaks words that seemingly comes from God and performs miracles that only God would do but if you don’t look deeper you will see that the Shepherd, Jesus Christ, is not there.
A coin on the other hand being inanimate gets easily buried and overwhelmed. I know this for a fact because I tend to lose coins in the black hole that is my room. It gets easily hidden from view and you may need to clean up all the mess of your home just to find it. In the same manner, when you get lost like a coin, you get easily overburdened with life and its struggles. You get overwhelmed easily by your job, your family and your relationships that you tend to lose sight of your true owner. You easily get buried in the rubble and lose your way there. Sure, you do want to be found, but there’s just too much clutter around for you to notice that your owner is looking for you.
On the flip side, the son is conscious and knows what it wants because it is a person. The only problem is that he thinks he knows what he wants and what he should do even if he is but a child. He breaks away from his father and lives the life that he thinks he wanted. Yet when all of his money runs out, he tries to rectify the situation on his own. Because he thought he knew what he was doing, he was also conscious of the shame that he would be having once he returns. He hesitates to go back to his Father, the one who really knows what he should be doing, because he thinks that there is no turning back. When you get lost like the prodigal son, chances are you are making a conscious choice and thinks that it is shameful and useless to go back. You think you can rough it out on your own even to the point of taking odd and despicable jobs just to get by.
You can be lost like the sheep, the coin or the son or a little bit of everything in between but that does not mean that hope is lost. The stories after all are not about getting lost but getting found. The stories focuses on how God is actually looking for you. He leaves those 99 sheep behind to look for that one who got lost. She turns the house over for than one silver coin even if he still had 9 more in her purse. He is that Father that waits patiently for His son to return every day hoping that His son would change his mind and come back.
The whole point of the story is about Christ, and His overwhelming love for you. So make yourself be found.
“Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’””
Luke 15:7, 10, 32 ESV