If only I knew where to find God, I would go to his throne and talk with him there. I go east, but he is not there. I go west, but I cannot find him. I do not see him in the north, for he is hidden. I turn to the south, but I cannot find him. But he knows where I am going. Job 23:3-10 (selected)
It was a case of generational mistakes.
My mom lost track of me at the beach in Florida when I was five. She was just lucky I wasn't eaten by a shark or worse yet, abducted by aliens. At least that's what men in speedos look like when you're five (or any other age, really). And it only gets worse from there. We were on vacation, far far from home, and I didn't even know the names of my local relatives in case I needed to tell someone. Nana and Papa were their names. It was a traumatic time, and left emotional scars on me for life, those speedos. Well, getting lost wasn't so great either.
That wasn't the only time I went missing as a little kid, but the other times were less threatening and went unnoticed by everyone but me. I guess my curious nature got the best of me and I could be found frequently wandering aisles at grocery stores and getting lost in the back rooms of clothing stores in my small hometown, panicked to find my mom.
I wasn't quite so trusting of people when I became a mom. In public places I never let my kids out of my sight. But then again, these are different days and times, and raising kids is a whole new ball game. Yep, I was never going to lose my kids, that's for sure.
But then came that fateful day when I lost eight-year-old Dani on the Mayflower. I have no idea how it happened, but one thing led to another, and she totally vanished while I was engrossed in a speech by Captain John Smith. Being that we were at the Mayflower in Plymouth, Massachusetts, far, far from home, and not in the safety of our own small-town environment, I totally panicked. I frantically searched every end of that boat from bow to stern, and no trace!
I stopped paralyzed, wondering what to do next. And then I heard the most beautiful, glorious, pitiful shriek. "Mom!" There was Dani, bawling her eyes out and running after me at full speed. I had never been so thankful to feel her little arms around me, and I held her close for as long as she'd let me. It doubly felt good because she was born independent and it's always good to know you're needed and missed when you're a mom!
Come to find out, she got bored while we were listening to the Captain, and wandered away to explore the boat, curiosity getting the best of her. I wonder where she got that trait.
Thankfully, with God I am never lost. I may get sidetracked, wandering away out of curiosity. Or I might look for my own little adventure outside His plan, losing sight of Him. But as a perfect Parent, He always, always knows where I am. He is never more than a prayer (or a sobbing shriek) away. And when I call for Him, He comes running to find me, picks me up, and holds me close for as long as I let Him. And He's ever so thankful to feel my arms around Him once again.