Story of the Day for Monday November 6, 2011
Letting Him Find You
I have gone astray like a lost sheep. Seek your servant.
Stephen Pile, in The Book of Failures, tells the story of a traveler returning, years later, to his native Italy. In 1977, Nicholas Scotti flew from San Francisco to Rome. His flight stopped for a couple hours in New York for refueling. Mr. Scotti assumed they had already landed in Rome and left the airport.
Scotti was confused by the unusual skyline, but assumed the city had undergone recent modernization. He was amazed that most people spoke English, but figured that Rome was a popular tourist attraction for Americans.
When Scotti spotted a policeman, he asked, in Italian, for directions to the bus depot. Oddly enough, the policeman was an immigrant from Naples and conversed with him in fluent Italian.
But Scotti was baffled when he found no one else in Rome who could speak Italian. Even when told he was told he was in New York, he refused to believe it. In the end, police officers drove him back to the airport and sent him on a return flight to San Francisco. But, for Nicholas Scotti, the police car racing to the airport only confirmed he was in Rome. “I know I’m in Italy,” he said, “That’s how they drive.”
Nicholas Scotti has nothing on me. Yesterday I got lost while hunting.
Northwest Montana has immense tracts of forbidding wilderness and I love to disappear into the deep woods to explore new areas. Yesterday, my wife drove me several miles up a winding mountain road and dropped me off.
I worked my way up a steep mountainside to an open ridge, but then the fog rolled in and obscured all the surrounding peaks I use as landmarks. Though I had never been in this area before, it, somehow, didn’t look right. Very odd.
The most dangerous time in getting lost is when you don’t know you are. Like Mr. Scotti, you try to reinterpret everything that is confuses you and make it fit your assumptions.
One of the best things that can happen is to be lost, but know it. When the fog lifted yesterday I was astounded to see that Lydia Mountain was no longer sitting in its traditional location. That revelation told me where a road was.
The road was important – not because I could now find my way home – but because my wife could now come looking for me and find me.
In today’s religious thought, we think of “The Lost” as those who have no saving faith in Christ. But that usage is rare in the Bible. Usually it is God’s own people who manage to go astray and lose their bearings.
When you know you’ve strayed in life and lost your way, it’s not so much a matter of finding God as letting him find you.
(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)