Monday, February 25, 2008

My column about being "LOST" that was in the paper Saturday 02.23.08

You usually get a 2nd Cup of silly here, but I do enjoy writing with a little more depth once in a while. Regarding my columns, I try to speak to people who aren't yet committed to following Christ and then with the next column, to those who are committed. However, all of my columns appear on the religion page, and to be honest, I don't think many people go there on purpose. Unless they're my parents. And sometimes not even them! ["Mom, did you know my column is in today's paper? No? Well, it is."] Also, I did not title this piece; the editors did.

Feeling Lost? Here's a Message in a Bottle

For the first time since the General Hospital Luke and Laura phenomenon of my senior year in high school, I'm hooked on a television series.

Lost is ostensibly about the survivors of an airplane crash on an uncharted Pacific island, but the reason the show is wildly popular is that every week, the double meaning of the title becomes more and more enthralling.

Each Lost character has his own backstory that brought him aboard Oceanic flight 815, allowing writers to address themes such as the existence of God, fate vs. destiny, good vs. evil, dualism within characters, relationship dysfunction -- particularly between fathers and sons, faith vs. science and redemption.

Plus it's just so ingeniously written that it's completely captivating.

So, I've been thinking about being lost a lot lately, specifically, that while a person can be physically disoriented, he can also be confused in his spirit, his heart or identity.

Maybe you can relate to these "lost" moments from my life:

When I was a child, I skipped up to my father in a department store and took his hand, only to look up and see that I had grabbed a stranger's hand instead. I was so panicked I couldn't speak and ran away. I wasn't running toward anything because I wasn't thinking at all; I could only run away.

I'll never forget the first time I was driving when suddenly I whispered, "Where am I?"

Once I lost my toddler daughter only to find her curled up behind a toilet in our half bath, smiling mischievously at me.

I remember when my husband took my little dog for a short car trip without my knowledge. When I couldn't find her, I was heart-sick, believing her to be lost.

I also remember how lost I felt when my college sweetheart broke up with me as I looked down the road at the rest of my life without him.

And then there was the moment as a young adult that I realized that I was living in a state of lostness, desiring a meaningful life and unconditional love but feeling depressed instead. Again, I reached out for my Father's hand. This time, I recognized the sure grip of a faithful God. No more confusion or running -- His hand was the right thing to reach for.

Eugene Peterson, who wrote The Message, said that we're all stuck on a personal "I-land," where we are so lost that we don't know who we are, who God is or why we're here. In this sense, we are born lost. We're merely existing, just surviving. The message in a bottle: "I have made a way to rescue you from your I-land!" floats by everyone on his I-land, but only a few realize the need to be rescued or believe that it's possible.

If you're confused, afraid, lonely, hopeless, or empty, open the message in the bottle with your name on it and know that help is on the way. Your rescuer is closer than your next heartbeat if you'll just reach out. For the rest of your life, you'll feel your Father's presence, and nothing will be able tear you away from His firm grip -- you'll never be lost again.

Linda Crow, of Muncie, is the mother of three teenagers and works in youth ministry. Visit her blog at


Ruthie said...

Linda, that was incredible!

I can still feel that panic in my gut when I realized that the hand I'd grabbed wasn't my daddy's.

I'd never heard of the "I-land" but what an awesome picture. And how beautifully you connected it to the TV show. wow.

You knocked it out of the park with this column. Well done!

Linda said...

Thank you, Ruthie. You made my day.

A Stone Gatherer said...

That was a wonderful article! If it had been in my relgion section I would have read it! Thanks for sharing!

annie's eyes said...

Though I don't watch Lost, it isn't necessary to relate very well to this column of "lost"ness and blessed "found"ness. Have you read "Unchartered" by Angela Hunt? Great post! annie

Susanne said...

What a great post for a newspaper, Linda. I could relate to every single one of those memories of being lost incidents.

"Only a few realize the need to be rescued" really hit me. Praying it will also "hit" your paper readership.

Linda said...

Thanks, Guys. (That's northern for "y'all.") I have indeed read Uncharted because of Susanne! It is a lot like that novel. I'm still wondering if the LOST cast is dead, but the writers say unequivocably, "no."

Melanie said...

Awesome! Great comparisons.

Mocha with Linda said...

This made me think of Uncharted as well.

Excellent, excellent article.

I'm impressed that your paper actually has a religion section with substance.

Ours should be called the Whatever You Think Is Okay section. Except for the people who think - and write - like you do. That's not okay to them and would never be printed.

Amy Wyatt said...

This was a great article... I loved it.

KT said...

Linda, this was absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing. Katie

Beck said...

This was a wonderful post!
I think you are completely right about why Lost is so popular - we all can relate SO much to the idea of being lost, can't we?

Lois E. Lane said...

Lost is one of the worst feelings there is, not far removed from "loss" actually. Mid-way through college was the most lost I ever felt. I'm so glad rescue found me. Perhaps this why "Amazing Grace" resonates with so many people so profoundly. "I once was lost but now am found..."

Lelia Chealey said...

Linda, this is really great. I will be passing this on to my husband. He's a huge LOST fan, and I know he'll really enjoy this post.
Loved the "I land".
Good job!!

Jodie said...

Great article Linda! As for Lost, the show, I've tried to get into it but I just can't. We saw it for the first time last season - the last episode, and we were gripped, so we couldn't wait for it to start this season - but now we're just so far behind that watching it only makes us feel crazy. We're too far gone.
I love how you tied the show in though - this is a great post!

Cindy Swanson said...

Wonderful, Linda! I'm going to link to this.

Kelley at Aroma of Joy said...

I don't watch any TV (except an occassionaly sports event or Scooby Doo episode) but I guess I need to check this out. So many people I know are talking about it and I end up Lost in the conversation. I enjoyed the parallells to your own life, I can relate to those!


Tammy said...

This is wonderful, Linda!
Where have I been that I didn't know you were publishing columns in the newspaper? Did I miss a whole chunk of time on your blog to be so out of the loop? Because I am so thrilled that the Lord is using you in this way!
Great job!!! :D

Ann said...

This was really good, Linda. I love the message in a bottle part.

Denise said...

what a great article! I have ventured over here from Chris's blog........ ( I love her earrings) so glad I came for a cup of coffee........ I will come back..........

Heth said...

Good work! That was an amazing piece.

Mary Jo said...

That was awesome! I'm so glad I found this site. You are an encouragement.