By Jim Brown
Moderator, Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
Have you ever been lost? Well, let me rephrase that. Have you ever had your wife say, “Do you know where you are going?”
I can’t put a number on the times I have circled the block looking for a specific address, not wanting to ask for directions. Well, modern technology has men all over our world busting their piggybanks to get help. Plain and simple, the new toy is a GPS (global positioning system unit). Just type the coordinate points or a desired location and it tells you how to get there. The irony is that it frequently has a female voice reminding the user that he or she has just turned the wrong direction. With almost a giggle, the gadget begins to say “recalculate, recalculate, recalculate.” (I bet the unedited version would say “you don’t know where you are going, do you?”)
Lost is a condition of many people in our world and hundreds are circling the block everyday searching for their destination. They need us to say “recalculate, recalculate, recalculate.”
The theme for annual conference of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, iGo08, encourages us to find and rescue these lost individuals. That theme has found its way into our Focus Retreats for Grace Brethren pastors. In one activity, men are divided into groups of four and sent out to take photos of specific types of people.
So I found myself in my Isuzu Trooper with pastors Plaster, Shirk, and Nicodemus. We were armed with a list of contacts and had two hours to find them. So as the planner of this fishing adventure would have it, I came armed with a GPS. It seemed almost unfair as we drove away watching other fishermen asking the locals for help while we listened to the voice telling us where to go. We giggled the whole way to the shopping plaza via Possum Run Road. It seemed to be an appropriate path, as we were looking for lost people. It made me wonder how many people are playing dead.
Yes, we did make it to our destination and got a picture with an 84-year-old grandmother, a Cadillac, a person in a sports shirt, and the others noted on our list. But the best part of our day ended at a local Wal-Mart with the coordinate points of a worker with twin daughters. She needed to hear, “recalculate, recalculate, recalculate.”
As we drove away, we prayed for this family. Back at the retreat center, I watched the tears flow and joy fill the room as the other men told their stories. It was because we were doing what Jesus asked us to do…fish!
I’ll say it again; it just feels good to fish! So pull out your GPS and keep punching in those coordinate points!
Jim Brown is the senior pastor of Grace Community Church, a Grace Brethren church in Goshen, Ind., that ministers to more than 1,200 people each Sunday.