First of all, let me dispel any rumours that I am a kind person, willing to help, and always jovial. More likely, it is that I am often being taken advantage of. People tend to mistake my quiet nature, shy even, for being a mug who will always oblige when asked nicely.
A week ago the neighbours a few houses down the road ... ... ... by the way, how far down the road should one live to cease being a neighbour? These people live quite a few houses away on our road. Are they still our neighbours? Or just a nuisance to disturb my routine?
As I was saying ... are you paying attention ... these people down our road had a family emergency and had to go away for a few days. They asked us would we mind looking after their little dog Avocado the Third?
Why call a dog such a stupid name? Why have an emergency which will end up inconveniencing me?
Anyway ... I took their stupid dog for a walk in the park yesterday. Somehow he got off the collar and ran away like an idiot here and there and everywhere. He was free ... he could run where he wanted ... although he did not know where he was going or how to get back. Assuming he wanted to get back. He ran to one tree, after a moment of two sniffing other dogs' delights he ran into the bushes, out again, followed another dog, yapping all the time to attract attention from all and sundry.
I ran after him shouting, "Avocado ... Avocado ..." looking twice the idiot than the dog I was calling. People were looking at me rather than the object of my distress. I remembered that the neighbours had given me a dog whistle. A little tube about an inch long. Apparently if you blow no one can hear it apart from the dog. I stopped and blew ... and blew ... and blew ... until I was blue in the face and breaking wind with all the effort of blowing. Did the dog hear me? No way!!! He continued running everywhere totally unaware of the reaction he was having on my blood pressure.
Eventually, some lads caught him and brought him back to me.
Now this episode reminded me of two things:
Years ago I was lost. I went up Mount Snowdon in Wales totally unprepared and wrongly suited; and it started to rain. I took shelter behind some rocks and eventually it got dark. I was cold and shivering and I thought I would not make it through the night. Mercifully, someone had called the Mountain Rescue people and they were out searching for me. They had portable loudspeakers and they were shouting, "Victor ... Victor ... we are Mountain Rescue ... where are you?"
I shouted back, "I gave at the office ..." Honestly, the cheek of some people. Going out begging for money in such intemperate weather rather than search for lost souls like me.
The second thing that came to mind as a result of the stupid dog is that we are all lost sometime in our lives. We are out there running left and right looking for something we can cling to. Something or someone to rescue us, to shelter us, to comfort us. Perhaps we are searching for Christ. At the time ... in our loss and in our despair, we probably don't know Who we are searching for. But one thing is for sure. He is out there searching for us. Daily, Jesus is out in the world searching for lost souls and eagerly waiting and hoping to welcome them home. After all, He said He would leave 99 sheep and go out searching for the one that is lost.
We are important. Very important. Perhaps we don't realise how important we are. But this does not make us any the less important.
Not everyone will be found. Because some people do not want to be found.
Christ is searching for us. Are we searching for Him? Do we want to be found?