Found people find people

April 1st, 2016

That’s what we do.

We need to find “lost stuff,” don’t we? Lost objects have an important place on our radar: lost remote controls, keys, glasses. There’s probably a lost and found box or closet in every school and office in America. In the Bible we also see this drive to find lost things and lost people. Jesus told stories of a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost boy (Luke 15).

But lost people take our urgency to a whole different level. The world stops to watch cable news track a child rescued from a well or miners saved from a collapse. We have lifeguards, search and rescue units, search dogs, and the Coast Guard on standby. We are prepared to find lost people.

I remember going as a kid to Six Flags over Georgia for the first time. I was so excited. There were many “firsts” for me that day: first time to the big city, first time to an amusement park, first time being lost. My parents were on the trip with me, and I’m sure my mom said “Stay close to us” a dozen times. And I meant to...but I wandered off. And then I panicked and did the worst thing possible: I started running blindly! It was bad. I was scared, crying, and embarrassed, but mainly scared. It seemed like a Disney movie, when you’re running through the forest and suddenly the nice trees turn into monsters reaching out for you. Eventually a park worker found me and helped me reunite with my parents, but I was still blubbering uncontrollably. The park employee said to me, “Dude, quit crying! You’re embarrassing yourself!” I was eight years old and felt absolute terror at being lost. Sometimes you’re lost and you know it.


One of my favorite things to do is ride my horse, Seri. We love to explore back roads and trails together. On my day off I usually load Seri up on the trailer and head out to find a new dirt road or trail in central Georgia. Recently I heard about a trail called “1099” about an hour away. It’s elusive. No signs. No markers. I don’t even know why it’s called “1099.” I heard about it by word of mouth and was given some very sketchy “country directions” to get there, like, “Turn left at the old Smith place and keep going until that dead ends into where Wilson’s store burned down. If you see a bunch of cows on the right you’ve gone too far.”

Seri and I loaded up and without too much trouble actually found it. It was awesome: beautiful trails by a clear river. Horseback paradise! The forest is thick, and the trails are winding in places, and I did get turned around a bit but had a great ride. I didn’t see another person all day on the trails until I got back to my trailer. An older couple rode up from the opposite direction. We spoke, complimenting each other’s horses and remarking on the nice day. Then they asked me a question: “Have you ever
ridden the 1099 trail? It’s really nice, too.” I sputtered for a few seconds and then started laughing. “Well that’s where I thought I was riding right now!” “No,” they explained. “That’s a few miles back.”


Jesus “came to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10 CEB). There are a lot of lost people around us. Some people know they are lost and are running scared. Stress from work, finances, and relationships make them feel lost and afraid. But others are lost and oblivious. They are riding through life, doing the best they can, thinking that everything is just fine. You can be lost and know it. You can be lost and not know it. I’ve been both.

As Christ followers, we remember our family business: to “make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:19 CEB). It’s a passionate business. It is literally a matter of life and death. Jesus came to seek and save the lost, and when we are adopted into Christ’s family, we are to carry on that assignment, because found people find people.

We can all agree that our mandate is to go where the lost people are. We tell others about God’s saving grace so that with the help of the Holy Spirit they might change their hearts and lives. And then these found people join the family business to find more people.

comments powered by Disqus