How do you get lost? How does lost-ness happen? I've been lost in more cities than I can count, and I can tell you—I never intend to become lost. It's not planned. A co-worker of mine tells the story of getting lost in Sears and Roebuck when she was about three years old. She was in the toy department, and going from toy to toy and aisle to aisle. When she looked up, she could no longer see her mom and dad. She didn't intend to get lost, but she did. And when she did, she stood in the middle of the store and cried at the top of her lungs. When an employee asked her what was wrong, she tearfully explained that she was lost. He told her, "Just stand there and keep crying. They'll find you quick."
Sometimes we get lost through carelessness. We just wander away, not considering the consequences. We see something that looks attractive, and we gravitate toward it. Then we wake up, look around, and say, "Where am I? How did I get here?" C. S. Lewis illustrates this in The Screwtape Letters, when experienced tempter Wormwood tells his young nephew Screwtape that a gradual approach is best to lure a Christian away from obedience. "No crises," he tells Screwtape. "Keep everything calm and placid. The best and surest way to Hell is a quiet, steady slope."
Are you lost? Are you far from God because of heedlessness or thoughtlessness or drifting? If you are, the Holy Spirit is calling you to come home. And God knows just where you are. Cry out, and He will come to you and bring you home again.
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