Jul 13, 2010

Seeking the Lost

I looked everywhere. I though to myself, “It was just there a minute ago! How could it have vanished into thin air? This is twenty-first century America.” But all my searching was in vain. It was gone forever. Perhaps some other lucky person would find it and keep it. They probably wouldn’t give a second thought as to how they stumbled upon my prize. Oh well, it was only worth a penny. It would be useless anyway after the train smashed it.


I’m sure you have all done this. Since train cars can weigh anywhere from 10 to 250 tons if you place a penny on a track, it will squeeze it into a very large flat object. It is really cool. When we moved to Vail I wasn’t sure what it would be like living right next to a train track. But one thing I knew for certain was that I would have unlimited opportunities to place a penny on the track.


I didn’t do this right away, though. I was concerned that it might be illegal. So I did some research. While I found out that it is indeed, illegal to deface US currency, the law says that it is illegal to do so with the intent to defraud. I don’t know how flattening a penny could defraud anyone. I also heard that placing a penny on the track could derail a train. But I didn’t buy this argument, either. So it appears that pennying is legal. It’s just dumb. Apparently there have been hundreds of deaths of people who have placed a penny on the track and then ignored the oncoming trains.


Oh well, when we moved to Vail I threw caution to the wind and placed a penny on the track, anyway. But I came away disappointed. After the train went by, there was no sign of it. In fact, I have tried this exercise several times over the past three years and always with the same result. I cannot figure out where the pennies go. I search and search but eventually give up. It is very strange.


When Jesus told the parable about the lost coin, he described a person who searched and searched until he found the lost coin. He uses this parable as an illustration of the extent that God will go to seek the lost. But while I eventually gave up and called the penny lost forever, God never gives up. He continues seeking the lost until they are found.




Pastor David Hook


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