THE LOST AND FOUND WALLET
You might call me absent-minded; I’ve always lost things. As far back as I could remember (long before I donned eye wear in my 30s), I misplaced things regularly. Keys, ink pens, chap stick, note pads etc.
Usually when I left objects in an area, I found them there . But other times, often minutes later, my simple scans turned into frantic, intense searches. It took years before I realized the pattern of this peculiarity. Finally I figured out how to manage this annoying, frustrating habit. It seemed my mind had to behold the object before my eyes could receive it.
This process took about a minute to sort out. A quick look might mean missing the object completely. Subsequently, when taking a closer, slower , deliberate gaze I beheld the target. Sometimes the thing was right in my face; other times it was there in close proximity. Somehow I missed it, even where I looked already.
This peculiar blindness became an annoying nuisance to me.
The outdoors also became arena for the lost and found: cell phones and wallets. Sometimes I found them on the porch , the curb, the lawn , near or around the car. Other times my belongings were returned within a day or during the week -- by mail, phone call or in person. Good fortune often smiled upon me.
Losing things, however, could really complicate things—in a hurry.
Last Thursday, I scooped up coins, keys and mints off a foldable table and dumped them in my pants pocket. I dashed to my black 2008 Lincoln Town car and pulled away. On the way home I stopped by Family Dollar variety store. With a few purchases, I filled my carry basket. But when I reached in my pocket I didn’t feel my wallet. I patted my other pockets—front and back. Then for a second time , the pat-down. I felt the coins, fingered the keys and mints. No wallet.
Now I was concerned. In fact, dread crept in. Again. Was the wallet in the car—on the seat? Near the armrest ? Near the door ? I searched around ---and found nothing. Now what ? Maybe the house. I revisited my usual settings: the living room sofa and study desk. Still nothing. Could I have left it, lost it at work, at school? Maybe out at lunch ? Who knew?
But first , I had to protect my money and IDs . I phoned the credit union to close my checking account. Next , my driver’s license and vehicle registration duplicates. Tomorrow I must backtrack.
Friday morning I returned to Digital Harbor High--this time an hour earlier. Anxiously I entered the classroom , and surveyed the area—where I sat, then the aisles and doorways. Nothing. Minutes later I found the assistant principal at her desk . I asked her if anyone had turned in my wallet. When she replied to the contrary, I told her I could not report to work. I had business at the Department of Motor Vehicles in a neighboring district ,Glen Burnie, MD.
Soon I returned to my favorite Subway restaurant and asked an employee about the wallet. Another “no” meant a definite trip to the DMV. I arrived at 8 a.m. ; the doors opened 8:30. The 3 hour ordeal cost me $25 total. With that transaction done, I breathed relief. My afternoon felt a whole lot better, cruising in auto-pilot. I settled into my noon routine : ABC news, Young & Restless, Bold & Beautiful, The Talk and Dr. Phil. Still I couldn’t belief I lost or misplaced that wallet.
Then at 2:45, the phone rang. It was an old friend, my former instructional aide. She told me that my wallet had been found, and I could get it from the assistant principal. I thanked her and hung up. Leaning back I smiled, looked toward the ceiling and whispered,” Thank you , Lord.” Oh happy day! I’m on my way!
My anticipation made this the best ride downtown since the Ravens championship in 2000. Even the traffic cooperated; I reached my destination in 20 minutes.
WHAT’S IN YOUR WALLET ?
The assistant principal greeted me.
“You must be living right, man! You’re blessed.”
“ I know.”
She explained how the wallet mystery was solved. Because I wasn’t reporting, she relocated my class to another room, combining them with another class. Thus, my room remained empty, without student traffic. A teacher who would occupy my room later that afternoon discovered my wallet.
He returned it—fully intact.
She joked about finding contact numbers in my wallet from “my women. ” Also she shared a cautionary tale about calling one of my friends and explaining who she was as well as the situation.
“How much money did you have?” asked the curious administrator.
“A ten dollar bill. “
”Yep, “ she smiled , then handed over my valuables .
“Of course I know what’s in my wallet. It’s mine.
On the way home I gave God thanks. He made my load little lighter today.
I thanked Him not only for helping me connect with my wallet, but being the Good Shepherd, He corralled me, guided me, protected and provided for –His flock. He found things that were missing and people who were lost. He gave them worth and purpose , direction and understanding . He made the impossible possible.
God knows who and what we are created to be . He knows where we need to be and how to get us there. He knows how to give the peace we desire. And He knows what is required of the journey ahead.
And I am so thankful He found me — lost wallet and all. In life, sometimes we get lost. Sometimes we lose the contents from our wallets. We make mistakes-- for countless reasons , whether intentional, spontaneous, rebellious, furious, stubborn and stupid reasons.
Through all of our flaws, foibles and faux pas, God shows us He is Our Shepherd. He is there to lead us back where we belong , welcome us and receive us. Through dangers , spoils and snares, the known and unknown we ought to be thankful . And I am so glad there is One who looks high and low, who protects and saves babes and fools who habitually lose things.
NOW I SEE
My lost wallet experience was divine redemption. We all were all wallets, embodied with collective physical and spiritual currencies ( our bodies and souls.) However, the contents of wallets differ: some heavier than others –depending on the number of IDs, credit cards, checks and cash.
We are all wallets of some kind, carrying various folds of faux pas. Some mistakes are intentional ; others innocent; rebellious, docile, curious, stubborn and stupid. As humans we make mistakes. We err for countless reasons. Through our flaws, trials and snares the Good Shepherd is there to lead
us back, welcome us back where we belong-- the flock. We ought to be thankful ! Indeed magnify His name.
Of course this would not be the last time I would lose or misplace objects or lose my train of thought. After all , at 62 I’m reaching senior status. But I’m so glad there was One who looked out for the helpless, searched high and low for the Lost, provided and protected the Needy. And finally, magnify Him who saved fools who habitually lose stuff like me.
CURRENCY OF THE KINGDOM
I must shore up my spiritual and moral assets. Our wallets are holders of valuables and currency : photo IDs, credit/ debit cards, checks, and cash. As humans, we embody culture, status, wealth, character and personality. We are composites of essentials : different shapes and sizes, shades and colors, grades and wear.
We all are wallets, I suppose. Though the contents in our wallets matter, what God puts in us (His wallets) matters most ! Let God give us the currency we really need. Let Him lighten our load, grow our wealth and prune our budgets.
This is the type of currency I want in my wallet . The type of currency found in Galatians 5.
I want currency for the Kingdom, wealth that embodies my spirit. I want coins like love and joy, cash like peace and contentment, credit with patience and perseverance, debits of kindness, goodness, and gentleness, layered with open checks for hope and faith.
If I don’t have enough currency in my wallet—in me...If I have spent out—I know where I can re-up, I know where I can jumpstart my cash flow, I know where I get a refund. I go to my ATM ( the Almighty, the True God, my Messiah). I get on my knees, and I lift my voice, sending forth a prayer of petition, of intercessory, of thanksgiving. Then I wait for Him, the Heavenly Treasurer, to transact what He has for me, fill my wallet with blessings.
Galatians 5:22-23New King James Version (NKJV)
So be careful , be vigilant. Don’t lose your wallet and all that’s in it. Don’t lose yourself runnin’ with the Joneses. Get it together !
However, if you do get lost—if you do lose your way-- do not dismay , Rejoice today, for you shall recover it all ! Ask God to forgive you, help you. Ask Him to lead you. Let Him redeem you. Let Him show you the way to your fruits, to your gifts and your talents. Let Him show you where you belong.
God gives us everything we need to sustain ourselves and prosper; to share and serve others; to influence and do good.
So what’s in your wallet? Make sure you put the kingdom in it.