This is a true story; I cannot deny it. When Diana and I only had our three oldest boys – about, I’d guess ages 7, 5 & 4 – they were really into castles and forts and things of that sort. I think Lego building systems had a lot to do with that. Sadly, there aren’t many castles in the USA – nothing like those I’ve visited in various trips to Europe.
In those early years of our growing family, we lived in New Jersey and often made trips to visit our many relatives who lived in Texas, driving right through this area on Interstate 81.
Somehow, we became aware that there was this place you could visit in Berkeley Springs where there was alleged to be a castle on the hill. Now understand, at that time of life before moving here, I’d never ever heard of Berkeley Springs. So, we planned to stop at it on the way to Texas.
We packed a lunch, ate it in the park there, and while the kids were playing, I think Nathan finally caught sight of the castle on the hill, and we went to visit it. The place was a total dive back then and was an absolute waste of time, but that is just the background of the story.
When it was time to depart and continue our trip south to Texas, instead of wanting to retrace our path north to Hancock on I-70, and then east to 81, I thought surely there must be a way to cut southwest and catch 81 much farther south. And I was equally sure my fantastic sense of direction would take me there. So I drove out of Berkeley Springs toward the southeast … and kept driving and driving (this was before the days of GPS – I know some of you cannot imagine that time). Diana kept suggesting I should ask someone for directions (although we were mostly in the hollers of WV and there was no way I was stopping) … and besides, that is simply not a manly thing to do. And even more than that, I was NOT lost – no way, I was just fine.
After about 90 minutes of travel – about which I was sure we’d be running into 81 at any moment, yes, you guessed it, there I was driving back into Berkeley Springs on another road. We had driven in a giant circle.
I hate asking for directions! Not only that, I don’t like to admit when I’m lost. But to find your way to where you need to go, you first have to confess that you are indeed lost.
And that is how it is spiritually speaking as well. We are all born in a lost condition – separated from God and relationship with him. But Christ has made it possible for us to be found and be reconciled – but we must admit our lost condition and come to Christ humbly to find new life in him.
This Sunday, and with our Monday-Thursday writings of next week, we are going to talk about lost things – three parables that talk about the lost being found, and the joy of the Father when that which was lost has been found. We’ll look in Luke 15 at a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son.
We are going to boldly ask the question on Sunday for any and all who are there: Have you admitted you are lost in your sinful condition, and have you been found by Christ and received His gift of new life? And too, we will memorialize that life-giving sacrifice with a time of communion together.