Just this past week I was speaking at a men's conference in New Mexico. The men gather to study the Scriptures in the morning, then fly fish the rest of the day. I was working what has become one of my all-time favorite stretches of water, The Rio Grande, in northern New Mexico. Along the Texas border it's a muddy river. In New Mexico and Colorado, it's an entirely new river all together. It can be great water for large trout, yet to navigate this stream means that you also must traverse larger boulders. In the fly fishing world we call it "boulder hopping."
Being the father of a son, my mind drifted to some little boy who'd been distracted and probably forgot about his favorite truck, and left it down by the river, somewhere upstream where the water is more gentle, only to remember it on the way home. I wondered where he is today. The question ran through my soul, "Where are you today, brother?" I thought about the choices he's made over time, and how those choices have shaped his future.
That once bright red truck had seen better days. Still, the truck did have value, at least to someone, a long, long time ago.
My thoughts honestly did veer to something Jesus said about people. "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent."
The whole point of the fifteenth chapter of Luke is that something of value was lost, and the owner, though he had a surplus of the same missing item, went out and would not return until he found it.
Every man at some point feels alone. Left for gone. As if his choices have caused him to float into places where the tides are simply too strong and his fate is sealed to the current of the unknown. God, the Difference Maker, takes it upon Himself, to search, rescue, and restore this man, every man. For one simple reason ... because every man has value to the Owner.
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