The Lost Sheep

Have you ever had one of those seasons in life where the expression “When it rains, it pours.” really fits?  Well, I am coming into one of those seasons now, I think.  The theme is change, and it feels like too much too quickly–even though it’s mostly good.  I’m sure there will be several posts over the next few months that will address individually some of thoughts currently darting around in my head.  The inside of my brain looks something like this these days…

Tangled lights

I need to be patient and allow time for things to play out and life to start settling down.  Right now I have so much impending change to process that I am having difficulty remaining aware of what I’m physically doing from moment to moment.  One example of this (a story that I will share with you today) brought me the perfect modern day illustration of the parable of the lost sheep from Luke 15.  This has been comforting through all of the uncertainty in this season of life.  So, without further ado, here is the story of the iPhone in the parking lot.

Last week a wonderful leader at the university where I work left for another job.  I attended his going away party having had the privilege of working with him quite a bit these past two and a half years.  I heard various staff members talk about his character and his gifts and how much we would all miss him.  The crowded room started to feel very warm, and suddenly I realized I was crying…like almost ugly crying.  I felt silly, because I still have trouble accepting the fact that I am a cryer and that’s just how God made me.  My thoughts fell one on top of the other like an avalanche.  He’s leaving and everyone is sad and it’s not fair and his family is starting over somewhere new and someone else will take over here and everyone will have to adjust and it won’t be the same and everything is changing and why does it have to?  It’s too hard.  Somewhere in the middle of that messy thought avalanche my sadness over our university losing a great leader became more personal.  It turned into me finally allowing it to sink in that we have big changes on the horizon, too.  I’d thought about it a lot, of course, but in a distant, dreamlike way.  That afternoon, surrounded by colleagues, holding my plastic cup of punch, I noticed for the first time how quickly the months are passing.  I allowed myself to really think about it, and I kinda started to freak out inside.

Later that week, I was leaving my Zumba class with my phone in one hand and keys and purse in the other.  I was thinking about three things at once and none of them included what I was currently doing with my arms and hands.  When I got home I started to make dinner right away.  (Pioneer Woman’s beef fajitas, by the way.  They were delicious.)  Here’s a picture:Fajitas

A few minutes in I realized that I had never responded to a text.  I started to look for my phone and couldn’t find it anywhere.  When I tried to think back to the last place I had it, all I could remember was that it was definitely in my hand in the parking lot at the gym.  Bryan activated the Find My iPhone app that he had installed on my phone the day I got it. (Brilliant move.  He knows me well.)  It showed that my phone was still in the parking lot.  So, being the valiant husband that he is, he agreed to drive back to campus and look for it while I cooked.  The minutes seemed much longer as I tried to figure out how I had dropped my poor phone before shutting the car door and driven away without noticing.  I could only hope that I hadn’t run over it.  When he returned, the phone had been recovered without a scratch.  Someone had put it on the curb, I think, so that it wouldn’t be crunched.  It was cold, but all was well.

When we go through times of transition in life, it reminds us that we are not in control.  The good news is that God is with us.  No matter what happens to us or how lost we become, he sees us and he is there.  We are never really alone.  This thought is carrying me through the emotions of looming transition.  I feel a bit like the lost sheep lately, not knowing what to expect.  Just like the shepherd rescued the lost sheep and Bryan rescued my iPhone, God will bring me through this time.  We have nothing to fear.

Photo credit

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