James A. Washington

Have you ever been lost? I mean really don’t know where you are, what you’re doing, how did I get here lost?

I’ve been emotionally, clinically, physically, chronically and of course, spiritually lost many times in my life. It’s no accident that finding me by me coincides with me finding my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Lost in the secular realm can mean a lot of things, including simply being lost in time and space. Geographically, that can mean not knowing which direction to turn in order to get to a particular designated place at a specific time.

Spiritually, being lost runs the gamut from borderline lunacy to physical depravity, from chasing your own tail to sniffing everyone else’s. Consider those times in your life when you couldn’t explain your own dumb behavior to anyone, including yourself. Think about all of those times when you were in the middle of where even you knew you weren’t supposed to be, had no business being there. But you wouldn’t, dare I say couldn’t leave.

If you engage in destructive behavior and can’t stop; live a lifestyle you despise but feel obligated to continue; stay in an abusive situation and can’t leave; love yourself so little that you lose sight of who you really are; blame the world for your predicament and won’t see any way to change it. Can you spell l-o-s-t?

If being spiritually lost is in essence a state of mind, doesn’t it stand to reason that being spiritually found is also a state of mind? We all know how it feels after being lost for a few minutes or a few hours and finally getting going in the right direction. You’ve not yet reached your destination but you experience great pleasure in the fact that you absolutely know where you’re going and how long it will take you to get there.

Being spiritually found, or finding yourself spiritually brings the same feeling, only tenfold, because most of us have been spiritually lost for more than a few minutes, or a few days or even a few years. To wake up on any given morning and recognize the truth necessitates praising God in a manner only the saved can understand. At that point, in that moment of understanding confusion gives way to clarity, lunacy gives way to sanity, turmoil bows to peace, purpose replaces insignificance and the angst of the spirit is replaced by faith in the Almighty.

Once you find yourself spiritually, there is one irrefutable fact you must acknowledge. You can no longer plead ignorance to the ways of the Lord. No longer can you play victim to your own self-induced frailties. No longer can you claim weakness as an excuse for succumbing to sinful behavior. This spiritually found thing bears a price tag for redemption. Salvation does indeed require a paradigm shift.

But it’s okay. Just like being on the wrong highway all night and finally finding the right one, even though you’ve gone far out of your way, there’s nothing like finally getting it right. Now it’s just a matter of time. “He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know the time or dates the Father has set by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you’…”

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