I am sure you saw the story about the penguin that took a wrong turn and ended up over 4,000 miles away from home. The people who found the little black and white dude were amazed - how could this little guy end up in New Zealand instead of Antarctica?
Have you ever been lost? There is nothing like the feeling of being lost. I recall getting away from my parents in a mall in San Antonio, Texas when I was just a lad and then realizing that I was lost - I can still remember the feeling of dread I had. Fortunate for me my parents looked for me and found me - with some of my behavior at that age I was very blessed that they came looking. Seeing my Mom's face put the oxygen back in my lungs -- her lecture about wandering off and scaring her to death was bearable, as long as I was back with Mom and Dad.
The feeling of being lost is about as powerful as any human emotion. We get lost in every way imaginable - sometimes it is willful, sometimes it is because we are a klutz, (like me) and sometimes it is so gradual that we never even see it happening until it is too late.
Jesus told these clever stories in Luke 15 on the subject of lostness: a lost sheep, a lost coin, and lost sons. One of the points he is making is about God's love for those who are lost, for whatever reason. The picture of a shepherd who leaves his entire flock behind to look for one little lamb. Wow that is amazing! The woman who cannot live until she finds that one coin that is a special keepsake and treasure - she has a party when she finds it! And then there is that Father who runs to meet his rascal son when he sees him coming home!
I know what it is like to be lost. I know also what it is like to be loved by God, my run to me Father, as I turn my heart toward home.
I hope the little penguin makes it back home and that he is greeted with love by his family when he makes it to Antarctica - home, sweet, home!
If you are lost, there is nothing like the joy of coming home. I hope you know that.
Just thinking, Steve