Have you ever been lost? Do you know that frustrating feeling when you’re supposed to be somewhere, and you try and try to find your way, but you just can’t figure out where you are and how to get where you need to be?
Ten years ago, when my wife (Jill) and I were engaged to be married, I took her to Ohio to spend some time with my family. We decided to all meet up for dinner in Columbus, a city that I was somewhat familiar with but didn’t know as well as I thought I did.
Before meeting my family, Jill and I got together with some friends for coffee in a neighborhood near where I was supposed to meet my family. We headed out for the restaurant with 20 minutes to spare, plenty of time to get to where we needed to go. I had never been to the restaurant, but I was fairly confident I knew where I was going.
We started out heading in the direction that I thought we needed to go. We couldn’t find it. I turned around and circled back; still no restaurant. I started down a few side streets. Nothing looked familiar. I made bigger and bigger circles and still couldn’t find where we were supposed to go.
After 30 minutes of driving, I decided to break man rule No. 1 — yes, I stopped and asked for directions. Unfortunately, the person I asked had no idea where the restaurant was either. We drove and drove, and finally, an hour and 20 minutes after leaving the coffee shop, we made it to our destination, an hour late meeting my family.
Perhaps the most frustrating part about this journey was that the restaurant was only one mile from the coffee shop that we started out from ... a full hour and 20 minutes of driving to make it one mile.
Thankfully, Jill still decided to marry me despite my ineptitude for directions.
In one of the greatest songs ever written in the English language, John Newton famously penned the words “I once was lost, but now am found.”
The song, of course, is “Amazing Grace,” and it describes a universal human experience: being lost. Being lost is that reality we face when we don’t know where we are and have no idea how to get where we need to go.
It’s a frustrating experience when driving a car, but it can be absolutely devastating when our whole life becomes directionless. Have you ever found yourself asking, “What is my purpose? Why am I here? Why doesn’t my life seem to be working out the way I hoped it would?”
Do you ever feel lost?
The good news of God’s “Amazing Grace” is that we can be found. In Christ we can be found and discover meaning, purpose and direction for our lives.
What a relief it is when after wandering aimlessly and desperately seeking direction we can gratefully declare, “I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see.”