This story revolves around a regular occurrence in my life. And when it happens, nothing sends me into convulsions of shame and anger quicker. What am I referring to? Losing my wallet. I feel undone, irresponsible, exposed as inept before Heidi and my family. A couple of weeks ago, it happened again after going to a cross country meet to watch some of my students run. I remember putting it in my coat pocket as I ran out onto the course. But it never got home.
When it first hit me what had happened, I could feel the familiar blackness rise. And this time, the stakes were higher. We were supposed to leave the next day to go out of town to buy a car. The absolute worst possible time to lose a wallet. It was also dinnertime. I couldn’t even finish my dinner. I felt sick. But this time I did something different. I prayed with Heidi about the wallet. Something so simple. I had never done that before with this. I really mean that. Yet it changed everything…the anger, the shame, the blackness. We just connected to God together. I knew that he knew where the wallet was. Heidi felt the same way.
After a men’s group that night, I took my head lamp and tried to search the race course. It was hopeless. I decided to wait until morning. Morning came…so did the rain, the wind, the cold. But I was not distraught. Instead, I did something different again. I invited other men to help me. There we were in the driving rain for over an hour, scouring the grounds. After an exhaustive search…still no wallet. We prayed together and left. I was strangely unshaken. This felt so different. I just knew it would be OK. We were now supposed to leave in an hour. I was trying to figure out how to get a temporary license when I got a message from the director of the cross country meet. Someone had turned in a wallet…yes, it was mine. It had been lost again, and found again, but very differently this time.
What made the difference? Something so simple. Connecting to the Father. It switches the rails in our thinking, the well-worn grooves in our hearts. All of a sudden, we are different, not by trying to be, but by remembering the truth. We are not alone. We are not orphans. We belong to him.