While at the Church Basement Roadshow, while in the restroom of all places, I saw someone I had not seen in a while. I use to attend church with this older gentleman though I haven’t been to that church in over a year. He remarked that he hadn’t seen me in a while but had asked someone about me recently. I asked what the person said and he replied that they didn’t know. Ok timeout! Let me deconstruct the conversation to that point…this person cared enough about me to ask others about me but never picked up the phone and called me or emailed me or come by my house, etc. Second, the person he was asking shared this gentleman’s level of concern. I must also remark that the level of concern these two shared is rampant in our former church as our phone hasn’t exactly been ringing off the hook since we defected from that church “silently in the night”…well, unless you consider 2 emails “ringing off the hook”.
Ok so now back to the conversation in progress…I told him that I had just been living life and enjoying God’s goodness to which he replied. “Yeah, I figured you were out trying to find yourself”. At this point I just smiled…as opposed to break the door off the hinges. It’s a good thing I had already gone to the bathroom or I may have indeed pissed myself before leaving the restroom.
I thought, “Dude you have no clue that I WAS NOT trying to FIND anything…especially myself. In fact, I was trying to LOSE MYSELF…in so far as that means lose the baggage of “religiosity” and “churchianity”…in so far as that means being free from the shackles of legalism, the removed from under the heavy blanket of insignificant and boring faith and to the degree that losing myself means finding the God I am finally growing to love.” My amazement at such a comment very quickly changed to understanding. For one thing, I know this guy and he is a good guy. I am sure he meant nothing bad by is comments. It just isn’t his nature. For another thing, I realized that he just doesn’t get it…or at least he doesn’t get me. Then my anger-turned understanding went immediately to a book title and idea (as many of my thoughts do). You see, I am finally coming into a place of peace, security and spiritual freedom…not in the presence of church membership, cool Bible studies or predictable organized religion. I am finally finding comfort in the uncomfortable Words of God found in scripture. I am finally finding solace in the inconsolable life of Jesus. I am finally finding security in the foundations of God’s mercy. I am finally learning about the man, husband and father I am to be through time with God…finding myself is the last thing I am doing. I have never been so lost in my whole life…yet I know the path on which walk is highlighted by the grace, mercy and love of God. I have never been so far away from conventional wisdom…yet I know the voice I hear, and am following is the voice of my Shepherd, the same voice previously drowned out by functions, services and committee meetings. I have never been so blind…but the only light I care to see is His anyway…what else is worth seeing? So indeed, I am “Lost, Yet Finding”
If being found means returning to my personal "Egypt"…I hope I stay lost in the wilderness of God forever. May we all be so lost!