Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Where's Waldo, Geo Caching, and Lost and Found

Almost every week Oceanside provides me with Monday as a day off. It's a family day where we can recover from the weekend's ruckus and relax. The funny thing about having kids is relaxation rarely comes by sitting around. A day inside leads to parents driven to insanity. So we try to bring the kids to a park, Chuck E. Cheese's, or something fun outside the house. This week we went geocaching!

You may wonder what geocaching is. Here is a video that will explain it better than I can.

Allie has acutely trained eyes (It must be all those years of playing Where's Waldo). She can spot almost anything. While walking down an oak shaded path on the edge of Daniel Island Allie honed in on a small black book bag under some thorns and fallen branches leaning up against a young oak. She screamed, "Ivey, I found the geocache!" I sauntered over disbelieving she could have found it that quickly. I was right, she hadn't found the geocache, but she had found a bag belonging to a woman named Amy.

We eventually found the geocache under a walking bridge. It was filled with old Burger King toys and halves of discarded Family Circle Cup tennis balls. Searching for the geocache was the fun part, but the real find of the day was that little black backpack.

When we got home I quickly examined the contents of the bag. I found a check book, a wallet filled with everything except a phone number, a biography, and a spiral bound college rule notebook. I was glad the box hadn't fallen into the wrong hands. Because I didn't find a phone number I went to Google for help. I entered the name on the license into the search bar and within minutes I had her phone number. By 8:15 PM that night she had her six month lost bag in her hands. She told me she had given up hope. She gave us a small gift to say thanks, but the most rewarding thing was seeing the joy on her face when she got her bag back.

With all that in mind yesterday I met a man on the street. He recently moved to Mt. Pleasant from out of state. He was telling me that he has felt very alone arriving about three months ago. It didn't seem he had any friends in town. He had recently found out that a friend of his had just hung himself. This guy was in need. I came to understand he had been praying to God for a sign. God used some circumstances and church members to put him in my path. He is supposed to be coming to church with me this weekend, and I'm praying he does. I ask you to pray the same.

The actual geocache in its hiding place

I couldn't help but see the parallels between these two stories. One was about a lost book bag that I had probably passed 50 times and never noticed. One was about a man who I had probably passed 50 times and never noticed. Both times, if I would have opened my cynical eyes, I would have been able to see something that needed to be found.

Today in my devotions I read this scripture, But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him. Romans 5:8. When we were nothing but a soggy backpack under some leaves Christ loved us enough to die for us.
What woman who has 10 silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she finds it, she calls her women friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found the silver coin I lost! ’ I tell you, in the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who repents.” Luke 5:8-10
We found the geocache!

God uses you and me to search for the lost. Keep your eyes open, and look for those that need Christ. Many times they have prayed for an answer from God, and you are the answer. Don't let those moments pass where someone who is lost and alone wants to be found. Keep your eyes open and your heart receptive. Learn, as God is teaching me, to be the church outside its four walls.