I lost my iPad today. My stomach did a back-flip when I saw it was missing from its usual place. I spent the next 20 minutes going through my car, my bag, my desk and my memory. The last time I know I saw it was at a restaurant last night.
If you have ever lost your phone or your wallet or had your home burglarized, then you know that grip of anxious panic which unsettles your bones and overpowers your reason. Racing thoughts begin to catalog the loss. What passwords are accessible, what websites automatically log in, what terrible rending will follow my ignorant vulnerability? (A little melodramatic? Only in retrospect.) My guts had been churning for half an hour. I felt shaky and dizzy. I wondered who I should call, what I should cancel, who could possibly help me? I was willing to bargain. I could refuse to press charges, offer a reward, I’d be effusive in my gratitude. It’d been half an hour, and I finally remembered to pray.
“Lord, You know all things. You know where my iPad is. You are able to protect me and to guide me. If it is your sovereign will, please show me where it is. And give me patience and peace while I wait for your answer. Amen.”
Almost immediately I remembered that I set it on my bedside table last night. The tabletop is virtually black, the same color as my iPad cover. Scanning my bedroom, I could just make out a shadowy rectangle, and my whole being flooded with relief. Clutching my recovered iPad to my chest, I murmured a prayer of ardent thanksgiving. I honestly cannot remember the last time I felt so much gratitude.
What is a lost iPad compared with the cross? What is finding a temporal object, no matter how precious, compared with the resurrection? And yet, I take the cross for granted – to the point of forgetfulness – every day. The churning agony of mind and body I experienced over a mere inconvenience is greater than I typically feel over the depravity of my eternal soul. My willingness to serve the person who could restore the object of my worldly desire outstrips my daily attitude toward the King of Everything. The relief I celebrated over a possession I have owned for less than a year is far more than I usually feel toward the Redeemer of my life. Where is that rush of gratitude which drives me to my knees and makes me laugh and sing at God’s goodness?
I was lost, but now I’m found. Hallelujah!