Viewpoint by Tom Grant, Church Planting Curate in the Harborough Anglican Team
Every year in the period between Christmas and New Year, I always find myself slightly disorientated. What day is it? What should I do to entertain my son? What places and shops are open? I know I’m probably not alone.
One thing I have really wanted to do since lockdown is not to lose the connection with the outdoors and nature, which my daily walk created. So armed with a smart phone and time on our hands in the post-Christmas void, as a family we went out Geocaching into
Geocaching, if you are not familiar with it, is a free app which can be downloaded on your phone. It uses the GPS to help you locate hidden Geocaches (small containers of various sizes), which have been hidden all over towns, villages and the countryside. The app often gives clues as to where these can be found.
When you find the Geocache you have the opportunity to write your name and date down and swap little trinkets with others that have been left behind. This of course is an instant hit with children and provides a great opportunity to spend time together in the great outdoors.
On this occasion after discovering the first two Geocaches, try as we might we could not find the final one – reluctantly giving up we retreated to the nearby park to go on the swings.
Geocaching is essentially a treasure hunt – using maps to hunt down treasure, to seek and find that which is lost or hidden. The Bible is full of stories about people seeking and finding lost treasured items, people or even animals. Jesus told a story about a woman who had lost a precious coin searching frantically for it, another of a man who had found buried treasure hidden in a field and went off to buy the field.
But perhaps my favourite story is of the lost sheep, where a shepherd counted his hundred sheep and realised that one of them was missing. He then left the 99 sheep to go in search of the missing one, not giving up until he found it.
Why does this resonate with me so much? It’s because at times I can feel lost – I can feel like that lost sheep calling out and in need of God’s love – but I know that God in his great love will always find me and rescue me. As a Christian I believe that God is like this
shepherd, longing to seek out and find each and every one of us, to know his great love.
When we find ourselves lost and all alone, all we need to do is call out, so that we might be found by God – for he never gives up on us.
Tom Grant is Church Planting Curate in the Harborough Anglican Team