You name it, I’ve lost it! That’s the story of my life, and this week more so than usual. If it’s not my keys, it’s my wallet. If it’s not my wallet, it’s my phone. If it’s not my phone, it’s my ID. Careless? Maybe. Distracted? Definitely. Frazzled? Yes, that’s the word I’m looking for! Lost-n-Frazzled! Hey, I’m working on it, okay? God’s not finished with me yet.
But, there is one thing I have noticed. When something is lost, my prayer life suddenly jumps through the roof. “Pleeeez God! Help me find it!” I cry out, promising to be more careful next time. My mind races through all the lost-n-found Bible stories like those found in Luke 15, which, in one fell swoop, relays the parables of the lost coin, the lost sheep, and most especially, the lost son. Okay, people lost stuff in those stories, so I don’t feel so bad.
It’s amazing to me, though, how desperate I get or how frustrated I feel during those times. That’s because I believe that not finding the missing item will cause me to be late, broke, disconnected, or unidentified. And even though I reason with myself that the item can be replaced if absolutely necessary, I go all out to try to find it.
Now there’s nothing really wrong with wanting to find something that’s lost and asking for God’s divine intervention to help you find it or at least to help ease the stress until you do. But, it dawned on me that sometimes I don’t even pray as hard for others as I seem to pray for those little necessary trinkets.
I pray for people, yes, but do I do it with the same sense of urgency that I do in my lost-n-found lifestyle? Confession–not always, but now that I am aware of this discrepancy, gotta work on that too. No, I don’t have to pray for them in desperation, because I know that God will hear me when I pray for them. But I should pray with a passion for others that says I am thinking of them, I care, and I am asking God to bless them.
Now perhaps the enemy could care less whether I lose my keys or any other personal items. But I bet he does get a kick out of seeing me get all flustered, blame myself for being careless, and wallow in despair as though I will never break out of the vicious cycle of my frazzled lost-n-found lifestyle. And I bet he loves the fact that I can be so easily distracted by such simple “objects of affection.”
So, maybe the next time I lose something, instead of getting all wrapped up in the item itself, I can choose to use that time to pray earnestly for someone else. “Dear God please help me to settle down so that I can bring to mind where I left those keys. And God, while I continue to look, will You bless my neighbor who is dealing with a troubling doctor’s report. She really needs You right now.” There now. The more I do that, the more I can keep in mind the things that are really important in life.
Of course, my long term goal is to turn from a life of being careless, distracted and frazzled into one of being more careful, intentional, and focused. But while I am on that journey, I don’t want to give Satan any new ground. He will try to “steal, kill and destroy” even over the smallest things. It might start with lost keys but that can quickly turn into a bad day if the keys remain unfound and the wrong attitude begins to fester. And that bad day can get me off course so much sometimes that I forget that others in my circle may be feeling like they are having just as bad a day or even worse.
Okay, maybe it never becomes that extreme for you. But nonetheless, it sure can’t hurt to switch your attention from losing your keys to finding your focus. Yes, when something is lost, or even when you feel lost, focus your energies and your prayers on others—your family, your friends, your neighbors, and even your enemies. With this kind of thinking, if you ever lose something, you may discover that, instead, you’ve found a whole new point of view!
What prompts you to pray for others?