Summary: There are many great losses in life. Three are considered here: the lost book, the look opportunity and the lost soul.
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.
Losing valuable stuff hurts. It shakes us up. It unnerves us.
PROP.- In this message I want to talk about great losses in life.
1- The lost book
2- The lost opportunity
3- The lost soul
I. THE LOST BOOK
ILL.- In 1984 I moved from Iberia, MO, to Anna, IL. In the moving process I lost my book! I lost my Bible! Horror of horrors! I lost my Bible! My good Bible, my preaching Bible! I had put my preaching Bible in a box and when we unpacked in Anna, IL, it was nowhere to be found. I was absolutely convinced that I had accidentally placed the box that contained my Bible in the trash back at Iberia, MO.
I called one of the deacons and his wife and asked if they could go through our trash and look for my Bible. How embarrassing for me to ask them to do that. AND HOW EMBARRASSING IT WAS FOR THEM TO GO RUMMAGE THROUGH OUR TRASH IN POURING DOWN RAIN!
Wanda Lilly was the wife of the deacon who dug through our trash in the rain. She said that she looked like an idiot out there in the rain digging through that trash! She said my Bible was not there! I FELT SO BAD FOR HER AND HUMBLY APOLOGIZED FOR ASKING HER TO DO THAT.