What Does It Mean to be Lost?
BEING ASTRAY IS NOT ONLY A MATTER OF DIRECTION, BUT COMPANY.
BY RICA PERALEJO
I started my Advent readings the moment December set in. To those who want to know, I am currently using John Piper’s The Dawning of Indestructible Joy.
Its first entry was a meditation of the verse, “The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10), and how advent, as it means coming, is really about the coming of a missional God. A God who searches and saves not the best of the crop to use for world domination, but came to find and save and give purpose to the lost.
But what does it mean to be lost? Is it simply a picture of the wayward, prodigal son? Dancing his nights away in bars, always drunk, promiscuous, sexual? Maybe, maybe not. For I’ve seen and enough to say that even the most organized and orderly person on the outside, the most morally upright even, could be just as lost as those whose sins are flagrant.
Biblically speaking, sin isn’t only a matter of behavioral uprightness and the upkeep of moral codes. It is so much more than that. And of all the people in the world, I didn’t expect that it would be my almost four year old son who will give me the perfect illustration to best explain this.
It actually started when Philip said that he wanted to be bad. I responded to say that I know this because I, too, am bad, and all of us need to ask God to help and change us. Then he says,
Philip: Like “change my life and make it new?”
Mama: Yes, like in the song.
Philip: And “Jesus you died to save the lost?” (This is a song from Superbook.)
Mama: Yeah! Do you know what lost means?
Philip: When you aren’t with your parents?
Now I was baffled at the thought of how my son unwittingly conjured up a very powerful image of what it means to be lost. That while all these things are true, of how immorality, disobedience, rebellion, are keeping us from pursuing the right track, to be lost in faith is ultimately to go and pursue the paths of lie without one’s parent. It is to cross the streets of life without being able to hold the hand of your daddy, without the wisdom, guidance, direction, and covering of his love. In faith, this would really be a matter of going ahead of everything without holding fast to Our Heavenly Father.
The Christmas Message
I always thought that being lost is all about direction, but with what my son said, it became clearer to me that being lost, confused, out of place, off track, really has more to do about being rooted and anchored in the right person. And if you’re feeling like it’s been a while of being stuck in a maze and cannot seem to find a way out or home, then take the Christmas message that The Son came that we might find our way back to the Father.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. (Matthew 11:27)