When I was about 5 years old, maybe a little older, our family went to North Carolina to visit some friends. While we were there, my mom and I went shopping with her friend and her son, who was about my age. I had never been to this store and I was busy checking everything out, playing around and not paying much attention to where I was. I crawled under a rack of clothes as most kids do and stayed there for a minute or two. When I came out of my hiding place, I looked up and realized that I couldn’t find my mom. I couldn’t see over the racks of clothes to get a good view and I started to panic. I ran around in circles, frantically searching for her, screaming her name. Then I heard my friend say, “What’s wrong with you? She’s right there.” Sure enough, my mom was just a few feet away but I couldn’t see her for all that was in my way. For a moment I was lost and it was a scary feeling for a small child.
In many ways I still get lost. Not from my mother, but from the Father, the heavenly Father. There are times I lose my way and get distracted from Him. I feel stronger and start to think I can handle things on my own. That I’m strong enough to not need Him. Most people tend to feel closer to God when everything is going well, when they are on top of the mountain. Me, I tend to feel closer to Him when I am in the valley. I call on Him more and spend more time praying. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Most of the time those moments in the valley shape you into the person you are meant to be. But when things are going my way I typically pull away and forget that I still need Him in the good times as well as the bad. He will remind me of that when a bad moment comes along and I realize He is encouraging me to come closer. I must remember daily to let Him be my focus and everything else will simply fall into place. I will remember where I am and where I am going because He will lead the way.
Just like that lost little girl in the department store, sometimes I need to be found. I need to be able to turn around and have someone say “What’s wrong with you? He’s right there. He’s been there all along. You just forgot where to look.” He’s never far away.