Monday, June 11, 2012

Lost and found

I lost my watch Saturday.

James and I went kayaking Saturday night, out to the rope swing that I blogged about earlier. When we arrived, we tied up the boats, and I hung my watch and my camera together over a tree branch so they wouldn't get involved in the fun we were having. "Don't let me forget these and leave them here," I said to James.

We amused ourselves by jumping off the rope over and over and over again, and then I got my camera down to take a few videos, hanging my watch sort of precariously over a different branch in the process. The rope swing was amazing and I was quite pleased with the videos I was able to capture. When we got tired, we got back into the kayaks and went home. The whole trip took about 2 hours.

You can see my watch hanging there in the full-resolution version of this picture
I got up to my room and looked down at my left wrist.

No watch.

"Oh great!" I exclaimed. I went downstairs and said to James, "Do you know what I did? I left my watch out there." He groaned with me about it and we said to each other that maybe we could go the next day in between church services and get it. We agreed to try.

We went to church, and I drove separately, because I planned to attend my Spanish church after our service. The Spanish church service wasn't over until 2:00, and I got into my car making mental calculations. "2:00. That means I'll be home by 2:30, and we have to be back to church by 5, which means we have to leave at 4:15...yup, I think we can just barely make it." At the most, I had an hour and 45 minutes to do what had taken us 2 hours the day before--but I figured if we hurried, we could surely do it faster.

At 2:30 when I got home from church, I flew up to my room, changed out of my church clothes, and grabbed a towel. I flew down the stairs and out to the truck, where James was already waiting. It was 2:45. Whoa... that had taken a good 15 minutes out of my time. We also figured we should be back by 4:00 to give us time to change back into our church clothes. And now we wouldn't even be arriving at the boat launch until 3:00.

But then the scene described yesterday played itself out. We were back in our driveway by 3:43, having done the trip faster than we would have dreamed possible. (And then we found out that church wasn't at 5:00, it was at 6:00, so we even had time for a nap!) 

That watch was really special to me. It was given to me by the folks at the Iglesia Evangelica Bautista, the Spanish-speaking church I attended in Milwaukee, and it's even engraved with my name and the date on the back. When we moved, they gave it to me in appreciation for playing the piano for their church, and I have worn it ever since. There's a story behind the scratches on one part of the band. It's been everywhere in the world with me. And besides the sentimental value it carries, it's also a very nice, rather expensive watch, and it keeps perfect time, keeping right on the second to Verizon time. I would just really hate to lose it. 

Three things I thought could have happened. 
1) Someone could go out there to play on the rope swing, see my watch, and take it
2) The wind could blow it off the branch it was precariously perched on, and it could potentially fall in the water and be gone forever (the water is really deep right there). 
3) It could rain and damage the watch. 

That's why we wanted to go on Sunday, as soon as possible, and we completed our mission. The watch was there, untouched and intact. It was lost, but now was found. 

I thought about the effort I had to exert in order to recover my watch. 
•  The circumstances of the day meant that I had to make a serious investment of time and energy in order to get it back
•  Timing was important. The sooner the better (because every passing minute made it more likely for someone to come or for it to rain)
•  Order and precision were important. I had to do all the steps, without leaving anything out (can you imagine if we had gotten to the lake and had forgotten to bring kayak paddles?)
•  The success of my mission caused me much rejoicing and made all the muscle soreness worth it.

And it just made me think of all the effort that God had to go through to rescue US. "I once was lost, but now am found."

Jesus had to do far more than get tired arm muscles--His arms were stretched out and nailed to a cross.

Jesus had to go a lot farther than a 30-minute drive and a 28-minute kayak trip--He had to leave heaven and come to earth.

Jesus treasured ME far more than I treasure my watch. If my watch hadn't been there when I got back the next day, I would have just shrugged and said, "Oh well, too bad, but after all, it was only a watch." When humanity was lost at the fall, Jesus could have shrugged and said, "Oh well, too bad, but after all, I can always create more people." But He didn't. He went all the way down, down, down--down from heaven to earth, down from life into death--in order to rescue me.

The success of Jesus's mission caused Him much rejoicing and made His sacrifice worth it. "Who for the joy set before him endured the cross," Heb. 12:2. "There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth." Luke 15:10.

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me. 
I once was lost, but now am found, 
Was blind, but now I see.

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