Summertime meant a trip by train across the Midwest to Ohio to visit extended family. There was one train change required in St. Louis but from there it was a straight shot. The young boy tended to walk with his head down whether in a park or a train station. It was his preferred way of walking because folks did not try to talk to him if his head was down. And he certainly had no interest in talking with anyone. This particular summer when the family was walking across the concourse of the train station to the appropriate rail line, the young man was looking at his shoes as usual. As the family stopped, the boy looked up but did not recognize the people he was with. He had been walking with the wrong family! Tears welled up in his eyes. He was lost!
In life, it is natural for a man to keep his head down in the workplace - working hard to make the numbers, get the deal done or wrap up the project. All is good if he lifts his head with a focus on right priorities – relationship with Christ, living that relationship in marriage and reflecting that relationship in family and beyond. If the head stays down with a focus on performance at the cost of relationships, all is not good. The man is walking with the wrong god. He is lost.
Lost to be Found: “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? … I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” – Luke 15:4 & 7. Lost to be found by the Father. The world encourages focus on self and performance. Christ exemplified life with a focus on others and relationship. The world pushes self-improvement and higher performance expectations. Christ calls us to selfless-improvement and stronger relationships. While a man works to maintain status in the world, the rewards can become intoxicating. Men of God must be accountable to other men and be willing to go get the man that is lost.
The young boy heard one of his sisters holler his name from across the concourse saying, “You are with the wrong family!” He was never so happy to see his sisters. He got lots of hugs and was back where he belonged.
Prayer guide: Lord, it is easy to get lost in this world. In the drive to balance performance on the job and provision for my family, I was pleased with myself. Intoxicated on success at work, relationships at home became stressed. I was lost, focused on performing and providing. You found me, loved me and opened the door to relationship with the Father. Thank You Jesus for reminding me that life is about right priorities. Equip me in relationship with You to keep my eyes open for anyone who is lost in this world be they family, friends or strangers. Help me encourage them to be where they belong, in a personal, passionate and growing relationship with You. Amen.
A faithful father has his eyes open for those lost to be found in Jesus the Christ.