Summary: There are many great losses in life. Three are considered here: the lost book, the look opportunity and the lost soul.

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INTRO.- ILL.- The story is told about a police car that pulled up in front of grandma’s house and grandpa got out. The police officer explained that he found this elderly gentleman wandering around the park. He said he was lost and couldn’t find his way home.

Grandma said, “Oh, Bill, you’ve been going to that park for over 30 years! How in the world could you get lost?”

Grandpa leaned close to Grandma so the police officer couldn’t hear what he was saying. He whispered in her ear, “I wasn’t exactly lost. I was just too tired to walk home.”

Tricky/smart/clever grandpa. He wasn’t lost, but many people are. They are lost spiritually, and there is nothing worse than that. In fact, there is nothing worse than losing anything that is very valuable. Did you ever lose anything that you considered of some value?

ILL.- Not long after I moved to Southern Illinois I went to Cape Girardeau, MO, which is about 30 miles from Anna. I went to call on someone in the hospital and then I decided to stop at the mall before going home.

I don’t remember how long I was in the mall, but when I came out I had lost my car! DID YOU EVER DO THAT? I thought, “Oh, no! Someone stole my car!” Then I thought, “Who in the world would want to steal a 1982 Dodge Omni?”

That’s when I realized it wasn’t stolen, just lost somewhere in the parking lot. I wandered around that parking lot for I don’t know how long until I finally found my car.

Who hasn’t lost their car in the parking lot of a big shopping mall? Most of us have. We just know we’ll remember where we parked that car.

Losing valuable stuff makes us panic or perhaps have “panic attacks.”

ILL.- Dr. David Busby is a psychiatrist who used to work at the Choate Mental Health in Anna, IL. Dr. Busby was a member of our church and a good friend of mine. One Saturday night when Dr. Busby got home he put his brief case on top of his car and left it there.

Sometime later in the evening he decided to go back into town to get some groceries. He jumped in his car and drove off to town, completely oblivious to the fact that his briefcase was on the top of his car.

When he got home he finally realized what had happened. He got a flashlight and went back out to the highway and began walking up and down both sides looking for his brief case. He found his briefcase, all battered and torn and no contents inside. Then he went searching for the contents. The next morning, early Sunday morning, he went back to search along the highway.

Later that morning Dr. Busby came to teach Sunday School ...without his upper teeth! You see, those teeth were in his briefcase! He also lost some very important tax papers and I don’t remember what else.

Needless to say, Dr. Busby had lost some very valuable stuff. But that didn’t deter him. He didn’t panic. He took it in stride. He went ahead and taught his Sunday School class, although it was somewhat different that day. He talked about “WHAT IS GOD TRYING TO TEACH ME ABOUT THIS INCIDENT?”

He said the first lesson was “Haste makes waste.” And it usually does. Then he went on to laugh about it and make a number of interesting applications.

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