Being “lost” is always a reference to something.
You want to visit a friend who stays in a HDB flat of an earlier design. Assuming you reach the right block, it can be challenging to find the right lift to the section where his unit is. You are lost because you are not able to find your destination.
Or, you are driving up to Ipoh. During pre-Google map times, it was quite easy to be lost in Malaysia. Sometimes it feels like she is a land of “signs and wonders”: you look at the signs and wonder what it is saying. You had Ipoh in mind and ended up in Kuantan! I should add that if this really happened to you, you can’t blame the signs anymore. As they say, “it is the driver.”
You are lost in reference to where you wanted to arrive at, where you should be.
Likewise, the Bible talks about being lost in this sense. You may be living your life fully. You are deeply satisfied. You like where you have been. In fact, you have arrived. And you are anticipating where you are going. Your Google “Life” map is fully lit. Existentially, you are on top of things. You don’t feel lost at all.
However, life do have her sudden turns. Like that which happened to the rich man in Luke 12:13-21 who planned for everything but. Or the servant who did not expect his owner to show up (Luke 12:41-48).
What is amazing as we come to Luke 15 is that even when we don’t know we are lost, we are constantly being sought out. The parable of the lost sheep, lost coin and lost son conveyed the picture of an owner who is constantly searching or looking out. These parables can be renamed the parable of the searching shepherd, the determined woman or the waiting father.
Being spiritually lost is in reference to our Creator and Redeemer. He is searching for us, whether we feel we are lost or not. For God so loved the world, that He sent His only son (John 3:16). The Son of Man came to seek and to save (Luke 19:10).
We always use the term, “I am seeking for the Lord” or “I am searching for God.” We can be heartened to know that He is always on a lookout for us, always reaching with His love and penetrating gaze. Like sheep, we often go astray (Isaiah 53:6).
But as it is with God, He always call out, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9)