Occasionally I misplace things. Like my phone. Fortunately I have a tablet that allows me to “find my phone”–this works of course only if I haven’t misplaced my tablet. But one day this week I had my tablet and sent out a “ping” to find my phone. Mind you, I ended up finding the phone in the area of the house I had just hunted in but somehow I could not “see” it. And that is actually a full discussion for another day on our perception and how it is we do not see what is obvious. Along that line of thought (so I am going to chase this rabbit for just a moment), the philosopher David Bentley Hart writes in his book, The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss, “…atheism may really be only a failure to see something very obvious…”
So I sent out the ping and heard it faintly piercing the water of my misperception. I kept walking until I moved to a place where the pinging got louder and then, louder and finally, I found my phone where I had left it.
Is it too far fetched to say we are lost? Dante wrote of this in his first canto of Inferno. “Midway upon the journey of our life/I found myself within a forest dark/for the straightforward pathway had been lost.” Have you ever been in a car with someone (like a father or brother or boyfriend–males generally have this issue of pride that refuses to ask for directions) and wondered why the driver, obviously lost, didn’t just stop and ask someone for directions? Of course this seems a dated reference given the GPS technology most of us carry around in our phones but this only begs the question–why are we so lost when we have satellites and technology that will lock our coordinates into place?
Scripture, hymns, ritual, poets, art–these are ancient technology for pinging the lost item and in this case, the lost soul. Don’t be afraid to ask. Do not be shamed by admitting you’re lost. It’s a big and complicated world. It is easy to become lost. The first step to being found is accepting that one is lost. Ping the lost item. There is a sound like a bell ringing, calling to you. I think if you enter through the sanctuary doors this Sunday, you may in fact hear it loudly. Ah, to be found! ~See you Sunday.