Over the past two months I have been on a spiritual journey that has taken me sailing up the Chesapeake Bay, flying down to Aruba to celebrate 45 years of marriage, driving about 6,000 miles to a remote town in Texas, and then sequestering myself in a cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Now spiritual journeys are usually about self-discovery, or finding ourselves – right?
Well, maybe but not this time!
I have always believed the aim and end of faith has everything you do with being found. To be lost is a terrifying prospect and we have GPS, maps and other tools to keep us on track and moving in the right direction.
The words of that epic hymn, “Amazing grace,” so well describes this goal, “I once was lost but now I’m found.” Likewise a reading of the 15th chapter of Luke’s gospel offers three parables of the joy of being found. Whether it’s a sheep, a coin, or a wandering child Jesus offers a reconciling way back into our father’s house. AKA – being found!
However, in my travels to places I had never been before and my conversations with people I had never met before, I began to wonder if I had become too comfortable with being found. Through my many hours with God I began to see I possessed a great fondness for my “foundness” (my word). In fact, God seemed to be asking me through these encounters if I had given up on being on a journey at all. Do I fear venture out onto new roads for fear of being lost in an alien location or culture? Am I way too comfortable with the status quo? Do I prefer to do what I’ve always done, staying in the shallow, safer waters of complacency? Am I reluctant try anything new at the risk of failure and refuse to answers God’s call to go deeper?
Face it, I liked being found!
Yet, always knowing where I am and where I am going has seemed to empty me of the excitement of living. Being comfortable with my location has produced a stagnancy as if life had somehow concluding and all that is left it to wait for paycheck of heavenly bliss.
I am back, and I want to ask the 80 some churches in the James River District if we are too comfortable with our “foundness,” as well. Has God finished with us as a church or denomination or is God calling us to move out to unknown deeper depths – you know like those first disciples? Perhaps an answer lies in opening a new door and being willing to be lost again. I truly believe the Holy Spirit is willing and waiting if we are.
Still getting lost in wonder, love and praise,