I think I have figured it out. I am a gypsy. Well, at least, sort of. I have lived in a lot of different places. Gypsies roam and move around a lot. I have lived in 4 different states and 11 different cities. And I have traveled a lot too. I have been to 42 states and 17 countries. Moving around and traveling around is fun and adventurous. Sometimes I seem to have a restless spirit within me wanting to go out and see what is out there. It doesn’t mean I am not happy where I am, I just enjoy going out and seeing it all.
Now, what I said doesn’t mean I am about to jump ship and take off and go somewhere new. Not at all. I truly love living in Sarasota, Florida. Awesome place. Very beautiful. Great town, great church family, I love it here. I am just making a point that I have done a lot of traveling. And I have some very interesting stories to go along with that, but not this time. Maybe I will share some of the craziest stories with you in future blogs. But for now, I am going to try to stay on a specific thought.
I have traveled by boat, train, plane, and automobile. And as a traveler, I feel that I can maneuver pretty well anywhere I go. After all, you can’t consider yourself a good traveler if you don’t reach your destination, right? But getting from point A to point B can be challenging, can’t it? That’s why there are maps, right? However, if you are like me, you might find that reading maps is a lot more difficult than it looks! Good grief, just unfolding and folding maps is hard!!! And it is no fun to be lost. I mean, really lost. One time, while in London, I got separated from my group with a friend of mine during a tour of the city and we had a great time. We got to see all kinds of stuff the others missed out on. But, we also did not get to see any of the stuff we were supposed to see either.
So, now I am getting to the point of all of this. Getting lost. Being lost. Not a good thing, especially if you are supposed to be at a specific place or at a specific time. So, what do you do when you are lost? Get a map? Stop and ask directions? GUESS the right way to go? I have tried all of these! I worked one summer at a convenience store while home from college. Pretty boring job but at least I was making some money for school. It was on a busy road and I had people come in all if the time asking for directions. I took great pride in giving directions, too, because I thought I was pretty good at it.
I thought I knew the way around Huntsville as well as anyone. After all, I had lived there most of my life. One day a person came in and asked directions to a particular place. I quickly gave him very specific directions on how to get there. I gave him landmarks to look for, the number of traffic lights, the whole nine yards. He thanked me and pulled out and started down the road just the way I told him. It was about 30 seconds later that I realized that I had given him the wrong directions! Oh well, guess I won’t be seeing him again! I felt bad but there wasn’t anything I could do about it. It was going to be up to that individual to realize he was going the wrong way and stop and get new directions. I hope he did.
Being lost is kind of scary too. Have you ever been lost in a strange town that you know nothing about. The only thing you know is that by looking at the bars on the building’s windows and doors, the dimly lit streets, and spray paint on anything that can’t move, that you are in the wrong part of town. Oh man have I ever been there before! That is the time to have good directions, right? Absolutely! That is when knowing where you are and how to get to where you need to be is very important. That is when you would rather have someone in the car with you who know where he is going and giving you the directions instead of using a map or directions from a guy that works at a gas station, right?
The same thing is true when it comes to our spiritual journey. We are all gypsies when it comes to the fact that we are strangers in a strange land. The Bible even tells us that we are just that. We are not of this world, our home is somewhere else. We are just traveling through. And on this spiritual journey we go through a lot of different places along the way. And we get lost too. And sometimes when we get lost we have a little fun along the way, but ultimately we miss out on things we were supposed to see and do. And sometimes we try to read the map (Bible) but it seems so confusing at times and sometimes we cannot make heads or tails out of it. And sometimes we stop and we ask spiritual directions from people that have no idea what they are even saying, giving out directions that are going to lead us away from the goal.
And what about guessing? Oh boy, now that is an option you really don’t want to take! I “think” it is this way. I am “guessing” it is that way. Maybe this road will get us here. I have never taken this road; let’s see if it will get us there. Of course, once in a blue moon you might accidentally stumble in to the place you are looking for, but not very often. And most likely, it will take a great deal longer to get there, if you ever find it at all. The best bet is to travel with someone who KNOWS where they are going. That knows the turns and the land marks. Knows how to read the map. Knows east from west, up from down, left from right.
There is nothing more exciting than to get to your destination after you have been lost. A relief. And you know, we have all been lost. To sin. Being lost in sin is not fun, and definitely scary. It is not too scary being lost and not knowing it (driving around thinking you are going the right way when in reality you’re not), because you are not aware of your situation. There are a lot of people that are spiritually lost and have no idea. But, once you realize you are lost, things change. And there is nothing more frustrating than trying to get directions from people that are incorrect. And there are a lot of people out there that are in that situation right now too.
But, as Christians, we are saved by the blood of Christ and the grace He gives us through His sacrifice. Through the waters of baptism and the surrender of ourselves to the Savior, we enter into the Kingdom of His church. The body of the saved. We once were lost, but now are found, were blind but now can see. We are no longer “lost.” Isn’t that awesome! And now that we are on the road to salvation, maybe it is time we give some directions for those who are out there trying to find their way. After all, who would be best at giving directions, right?
But it seems to me that a lot of Christians are not giving directions. Not at all. And when we do, they are vague at times, judgmental at others. It almost appears that we know the right directions but we don’t want to share the information. Or if we do, we are almost selective in who we share it with. And we don’t seem to see or feel any urgency either. Sometimes it would be good to sit down and take a second to remember where we came from. We need to remember that we were lost once too. When we do that we might be able to understand what it means to go out and share the gospel of Christ. Because until a person puts on Christ, is in Christ, he is lost. And that is a place nobody wants to be. Nobody. Think about it.