Finding Lost Things
On July 20th I confessed in the entry Letting Go, While Hanging On that I am— what we in the South call— a Hanger-On. I attach an intense amount of emotion to people in my life and to inanimate objects, such as the ring my dad gave me many years ago.
I don’t believe it is a lack of faith that binds me to people, but my eagerness to show them God’s love, and generate positive experiences that (hopefully) make others want to have a personal relationship with Him as well. I also like the warm and fuzzy emotions surrounding pleasant memories. What I sometimes overlook is that having a personal relationship with God should be more important than the personal relationship I have with people on earth.
Because every day, when we open our eyes, God is waiting to spend the day with us. He wants to help us out of bed and be with us throughout the day.
If we’re honest, most days we’re too busy for God. We use him as the emergency brake, or the “easy” button. Admittedly, that was my first reaction when I discovered that my precious ring was missing. However, when God didn’t reveal the ring (immediately, if not sooner, pretty please), I was forced to analyze the attachment I had to it, and other things in my life.
The Sunday I lost the ring I lay—face tilted sideways—in the parking lot of church, searching for the lost token…begging and pleading for God to reveal it to me. I didn’t understand why He didn’t help me find it. He knew how important the ring was. He knew I was distressed, despondent and discouraged that I had misplaced the only article of jewelry my father ever gave me.
As the days passed, I posted a notice at church, (whined to ya’ll on this blog), and then vowed to find a replacement. I called Mother and asked her to pray. Certain that I would find a replacement before my visit to North Carolina; I didn’t admit to Dad that I had lost the ring.
Of course Mother told him.
Contacting the owner of the shop where he had purchased it twenty years earlier, I explained through tears, what had happened only to learn that she had sold her stock to someone in Alabama. Scouring the internet, I searched, I cried, I prayed. Then I did something I should have done in the beginning; I realized that I could not “make” the lost token reappear; just like I can’t change many of life’s circumstances. Finally, I released my attachment and accepted that is was forever-gone. Perhaps it was blessing someone as much as it had blessed me.
“Lord, you know how much this ring means to me,” I confessed. “And as painful as this is I must admit to you that I was too attached to this ring. I have wasted a tremendous amount of time searching for something that is valuable to me here on earth when I should have focused on leading people to You.” I apologized for wasting time, and I gave up the search.
I also gave Him a few other things I’d been carrying around in my heart. Hangers-on tend to carry loads of worry instead of allowing the One who can change the circumstance the opportunity to do His perfect work.
Are you hanging-on to something today? Do you need to pull worry out of your heart and place it at the across?
As my prayer ended I left my selfish concerns at the foot of Jesus.
A week passed without one thought of the ring. Then while taking my daughter to a friend’s house that “voice” (you know the one that isn’t your voice, but His guiding whisper) said, “go look in the parking lot for your ring.”
Now my church is a busy one. There are scout meetings, AA meetings, choir, and community meetings, not to mention two church services at Christ United Methodist Church. It’s an open-door kind of place. I knew that the odds of finding the ring after so many days had passed were zilch, minus ten.
Pulling into the parking lot, I explained to my daughter that I was “going to look one more time.” She didn’t protest. She understands about “listening” to the whispers of God.
Stepping out of the car, I walked to where I had parked weeks ago and there it was. My precious ring; bent and scuffed; a tarnished example of letting go.
I motioned to Jamie to look at the ring then explained, “This ring is valuable because my Dad gave it to me. It is also valuable because it’s a sapphire from the mountains of Western North Carolina (my home); but the main reason the ring is so valuable is that when you look very close, you’ll see a cross inside the stone.
Thanks be to God, for being the cross inside my stone.
Renea Winchester is the author of In The Garden With Billy: Lessons About Life, Love & Tomatoes, and a soon-to-be-released title: Stress Free Marketing For Newly Published Authors.