Oh The Joy To Be Found!

409px-Jesus_Rescuing_a_Lamb_Caught_in_ThornsThe following is from Journey Through The Stillness, my personal spiritual journal:

December 16, 2010 I am looking at my figurine of Jesus The Shepherd with the three sheep, the three sheep I know and love so well.  I am pulled by the “Lost but Found” and saying to Jesus, “Do not let me be lost, Lord.”  I hear Him say, “Remember, Martha, when found your joy is perfected.”  I ask Him to help me in putting Him out there on the website, to not let my pride interfere.  I ask for His help in removing self totally and letting it all be only about Him, that others may see and come to Him through it.  He knows this is hard for me.  He knows I enjoy the writing.  I ask for His strength so that I am not ‘lost’ in myself.  I pray, as always, that I never be separated from Him. 

If you have ever been lost, truly lost spiritually, then you completely understand the statement, “When found, your joy is perfected.”  Webster’s Dictionary defines the word lost as ruined, missing or mislaid, wasted.  I would define lost as being separated from, or cut off from something.  I would define spiritually lost as being separated or cut off from that which is most meaningful or needed to sustain life.  Being spiritually lost means being unable to connect with God.

This materialistic world provides us with a multitude of ways to be lost:  money, success, sex, and drugs to name a few.  Being lost in the world is usually overt.  We may think we are keeping our bad habits, our sinfulness, under wraps but the fact is that there are others who see, who know exactly what we are up to.  We are fooling ourselves if we think otherwise.

Besides the worldly ways, there are also other ways to be truly lost and they all involve the “self”.  We can become so focused on certain aspects of our self-perception that it becomes our reality, our goal, our way of life.  We become lost in it.  It might be our looks, vanity.  It might be our reputation in what others think about us, pride.  Worse yet, we might suffer from vain glory, which is boastful pride.  When we become lost in self, self becomes the most important aspect of our lives.  In our out of focus view of life, we are so focused on our self that we become boorishly selfish and self-centered.  We are blinded by our own light and lose sight of what is truly important: love of God, a humble but healthy love of self, and a respectful caring love of others.

During this season of Lent, I pray that I will be able to set self aside and truly become the person that God wants me to be.  I pray you will also.  Blessings to each of you along your personal faith journey, and remember, “When found, your joy is perfected.”

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