The Joy of Getting Lost

I’m back!

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,


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  1. Mary Lee Settle says:

    My actual sense of direction is zero. I may get there, but have difficulty getting back. Recently my spiritual sense of direction is getting close to zero. And how do I get back? I have been going to “my church” since 1965 and recently I have said,
    “I may leave my church”. Do not want to do this – where would I go? But when I get home on Sunday noon, my feeling is exhaustion, not inspired. Maybe I need to go on a journey, but where?

  2. I feel that we are to comfortable and complacent and not standing up to things & people that are trying to destroy Christians and our beliefs. This is not only being done in the media, but also in our daily lives with the people, places and things that we encounter in every day life.

    I talked with a friend and she is afraid to stand up because of the repercussions to her and her home. She would like to write a commentary in the newspaper but is afraid that her name and address will be published.

    Also your children and grandchildren have to be considered and the cruelty of bullying at school if you go public. It is a very hard decision for anyone to make.

    People need to be praying individually about all of these things.

  3. Alexander says:

    I was lost but found and God has moved me in a new direction. It’s not easy to open a new door.

  4. Mike Harrington says:

    Rob, Once again your words take me to a place that my own somewhat stagnant cognitive processes failed to take me. Perhaps it is our “lostness’ (my word) that God uses to reveal his own desire that we join him in searching for others? Anyway, today is Tuesday Oct. 10th, the Magnolia family sends you our love & prayers during this very difficult time for you and yours. May the one who promised us peace hold you in his arms in the hours and days ahead.

  5. Betty Fry says:

    Thanks so much for giving me something to contemplate, meditate on, pray about and celebrate as I say” here I am Lord, what’s next”! It’s not about me!

    1. admin says:

      We are glad that you appreciated the blog!

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