I’ve lost something – again.
It doesn’t matter what the item is. The problem has interchangeable missing objects. When I don’t immediately put something in its designated place, it gets stuck in the Twilight Zone. My mantra is, “I’ll get back to that later.” For the moment, I think the temporary holding spot makes sense, but that reason is quickly lost as I hastily move on to other things. And short-term memory loss in the elderly is a real thing.
I’ve got what I need – somewhere.
If I can’t find an item to use when I need it, it is of no value to me. Have you ever gone out to buy something you already own because you can’t track it down? I have to admit I have multiples of things like gardening tools and office supplies because it was easier to buy another one than spend the time organizing my mess to find the missing item.
Paper stacks are the worst, but I don’t have that problem in some areas, like my kitchen or clothes closet.
Everything exists to fulfill its purpose.
I think I’ve made my point about having things organized and ready to use at any time. The bigger issue is that a missing item is not serving its purpose. It becomes a waste of time, effort, and money that could be better spent on its original intent.
If it is somewhere in the room but is lost, it may as well have been thrown out with yesterday’s trash. Either way, you can’t use it until you find it.
“Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” -Luke 14: 34-35 (ESV)
Jesus makes this statement right before telling the parables of the Lost Sheep, Lost Coin, and the Prodigal Son, who was lost to the family for a while. Wouldn’t you say He’s trying to make a point?
I don’t think the salt or the coin was at fault for being lost because, in life, things happen to cause losses. But both the sheep and the son wandered away from where they belonged. In each case, their reason for existence was diminished or removed. They weren’t where they were supposed to be, doing what they needed to do.
As citizens of God’s kingdom and members of His family, we are assigned responsibilities. It is a joy and privilege to be in service to the King. We may say this is our calling, our ministry, or our mission in life. Those areas of duty usually grow out of who Adonai has created us to be in the first place based on our interests, skills, training, experiences, talents, and gifts. He has both called and equipped us!
Looking for lost items is equivalent to wandering in the weeds.
But our carnal nature pulls us away to lesser areas and baser employment of our time and talents. In the words of the old hymn, “prone to wander, Lord, I feel it.”
I have to admit I waste a lot of time. It’s like wandering in the weeds instead of progressing down the path toward a specific place or goal. Time wasted is time lost. It may not be possible to be “on task” all the time. There’s nothing sinful about taking a break, and it is necessary to take care of ourselves. But I want my time to be productive. I want to spend it doing whatever God’s will is for me.
And I don’t think looking for missing items is fulfilling His will. There’s a phrase in the prayer of confession that we pray in our communion service that says, “Forgive us we pray. Free us for joyful obedience through Jesus Christ our Lord.” That speaks to me now – to be free of the hindrances that prevent or slow down my joyful obedience to the Lord.
So, Heavenly Father, help me find that thing and move on.