You open your eyes and nothing looks familiar. You have no idea where you are or how you got here. You vaguely remember the journey, but it’s all a little fuzzy. You just know that nothing – absolutely nothing – looks familiar now. And you’re alone.
You can’t even discern from which direction you came. You’re not facing one direction or the other, but simply turned toward the woods that are obscuring your vision. Which way to go? You don’t know. There are no clues. No tracks. It’s almost as if you’ve been dropped from the sky to this strange place, and the way out is completely obscure.
You notice a map in your hand, but it is unintelligible. Nothing on it makes sense – except one thing. The path you should be on is clearly marked, and you find yourselves hungering, aching even, to be there. But nothing else is clear. You have no idea how to get from where you are to where you need and long to be.
So, you cry out.
“I’ve wandered! I’ve strayed! Please hear me! Please find me! Please return me to the right road!”
In your mind, you begin to see how you got where you are. The fascination with something off the road. The glancing back to make sure you could still see the road as you checked out the side treasure. Then another treasure. Then another. You began to forget about the road and think more about those treasures. Each one was fun for a time, but there was always another, and you just knew it had to be better. They were never quite all you expected they would be, but there was always another to try. Until you suddenly looked up, remembered the road, realized you were lost, and discovered you had no idea how to get back.
As the whole scenario plays in your mind, you begin to repent. To seek forgiveness for each craving. Each longing. Each chasing after a desire that took you from the road. With each repentance, the loneliness decreases. With each rejection of sinfulness, your road becomes clearer. Finally, the map makes sense. You see where you are and how to get where you need to be. You know you are free. You are found. You are redeemed.
Do you know where you are today? Are you on the road still? Don’t leave it! Nothing is more precious than staying on the road. Have you strayed for that first treasure? Turn back now while you can still see the road! Are you completely lost? Stop and cry out to the One who not only knows the way but created it. He knows where you are. And He will get you back where you need to be if you will humble yourself and repent.
Above all, realize this: you are never too lost for your Savior. Cry out for Him to find you, and the path back to Him will again become clear.