Far off from the gates of gold

In the spirit of reflecting daily, I am ruminating today on searching, seeking, and finding.

The Parable of the Lost Sheep
See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

Matthew 18:10-13, English Standard Version

“These little ones” … unless you go back and read Matthew 18 in context, you forget that Jesus is teaching but likely still has His hand on the shoulder of a small child. I can see Him there, speaking to the adults, the same ones whom He chastised to raise the children correctly: “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”

It’s “fun” to play games with little kids, to have them innocently ask their parents awkward questions or teach them societally-naughty words. Having only ever seen the trailer and the commercials to Big Daddy, I’m left with the lasting impression that such things are the source of a lot of its comedic drive. [Yes, I can imagine that Sandler’s character grows up or something like that. It’s Follywood, and that’s not my point.]

But many of us, most of us have come from that innocence period on to the other side, what Blake called experience, the horrible transitioning of the soul that turns one hardened towards life. We’ve all felt like that one sheep lost to the shepherd; often, like sheep, we’re not even fully cognizant of the fact that we’re not amongst the herd until it happens anymore. It’s easy to identify with that sheep, to look back and go, “Hey … where is everybody? I was just over here, grazing, and … following that where it took me, and … whuh?”

But our Savior, who is always faithful to us when we are not so faithful to him, is quick to come and rescue us.

I can relate to that today.

[If you’re not familiar with his music, you won’t recognize that this entry’s title is from Andrew Peterson‘s “The Ninety and Nine”, which is on AP’s Carried Along. If you don’t know AP, check him out.]