“Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders..” Luke 15: 3-5 NIV
We are all, in some way or another lost. We have all lost our way. Morally, spiritually, emotionally, physically, at some time or another, we have felt ourselves to be somewhere unfamiliar, strange, or just plain askew.
And in this life, feeling lost is a daily, sometimes minute by minute occurrence. We stop in the middle of something and think, what was I doing? What am I doing? Why am I doing this? We question ourselves, our worth, our productivity, even our own reasoning. We do it with our faith too, any time we have a doubt or a fear. We suddenly feel, like the disciples on the stormy lake, utterly lost. Rudderless, directionless, up a certain creek without a paddle, like the sky is falling and with no way to reclaim our compass.
If we are aging, or struggling with any kind of hormone irregularity, cognitive problem or much more seriously, with Alzheimer’s or any kind of dementia, feeling lost is where we spend a lot of our time, and it can be deeply distressing. That disorientation where we are disconnected from our surroundings or even our own memory, can make us feel like we are sat in an oarless rowboat on a lake surrounded by a cold fog. The same might well be said of feeling adrift when our lives seem to lack purpose, when we are wondering what God wants us to do next.
A lot of the time we will sit there straining our eyes for a sign, for any kind of helpful indication that might tell us where we are or give us a heading. But perhaps the thing to do at such a time is to stop looking outwardly, to close our eyes and listen to that still small voice that will always guide us if we can calm our palpitating hearts and our fears long enough to discern it.
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’ “ Isaiah 30:21 NIV
Photo from morguefile