Matthew 18:12 "What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?
I learn so much about my behavior from my kids. Two summers ago, we brought our girls to Six Flags. We were in the Wiggles World and had given my oldest the freedom to wait in line by herself for a ride. We watched her closely, she got on the ride, we relaxed a bit and waited with our younger daughter. The ride let out, and Maggie was not there. We panicked, found the staff and asked what to do next. They calmly asked what she was wearing, turned and pointed to a young girl, leaving a ride. It was Maggie. She had gotten on a different ride and we didn't see her. Unfortunately for her, we left our post and she couldn't find us either. Terrified, she called to us. When we were reunited, she was angry with us for losing her. A long lecture and the punishment of leaving the park resulted in her never repeating that drama.
I think I am a lot like that. See, I'll be walking along with God. We'll be pals. I call on him for help, he comes through, we're a team. Then, suddenly I get distracted. I decide that I know how to do my life better and I go about things my own way. "I can work out finances." or "Look how well I did at that!" I say. God leaves the picture. Inevitably, something goes wrong. I reach for God and he's gone. He's out of the picture. I can't find him no matter how hard I look.
I get angry and confused. I can't understand why he would leave me when I need him most. What I fail to acknowledge is that I left him, not the other way around. Like Maggie in Wiggles World, I had my own ideas, got lost and got angry. If I had stayed close by all along, I could have avoided the stress and confusion of being lost. Like a child, I ignore my role in the situation and blame God. Lonely, I cry out and accuse him.
Eventually, I find my way back, irate that I have been alone for so long. Suddenly, things seem clearer and life gets better. I get into my groove, count on him and feel better. I hardly even realize that I was the one who left and he is the one who brought me back. Luckily for me, he always seems to find me.
I know I am your child, and that you want what is best for me. So often, I walk away, convinced I can figure things out on my own. Inevitably I mess things up. I get scared and confused. I get angry and cry out to you. Without fail, you bring me back to you. By your side, I can do anything. Thank you for your compassion and companionship. Keep me close to you.