This was a conversation between one of my imaginary friends and I a few days ago.
Me: (face brightly lit with excitement)
Friends! Acquaintances! Comrades! Beat the drum! Sound the horn! Each and everyone, grab yourself a flute, a tambourine or a cymbal! Let me hear the loudest ululations and shouts of joy! Break out into song and dance, and come let’s celebrate together!
Imaginary friend: (not amused in the very least, her face painted with skepticism)
Hold on! Wait! Why in the world are we celebrating?
Me: (in shocked indignation)
How can you not know? How have you not yet heard? Morris finally got a new phone! And yes, it is a smartphone. And yes, it is way better than the previous phone he had. And yes, it cost an arm and a leg (just joking. It probably cost only one little finger). And now I am all so emotional because this marks an end to a whole torturous month of no random “I love you” calls, no lovey dovey whatsapp emojis and no sweet morning messages. Oh, the joy in my heart!
Imaginary friend: ( rolling her eyes at what could be 25rpm (revolutions per minute))
Suzan! Please! Please get your drama and hysteria, carefully stuff them in an airtight container and slowly drag that container as far from my vicinity as possible. Ship it to the arctic circle if you like. Or even better, go drop that container in the bermuda triangle.
Me: (totally unfazed and now shouting lunatic-ally)
I can’t hear you!! The party in my head is too loud!
Okay. The above is just me trying to have a dramatic beginning to my piece of writing. Let’s get back to sanity.
Situation right now:
Morris: Drooling over his new phone and its gazillion specifications (some unintelligible things such as RAM, chipsets, Emotional User Interfaces, bla, bla, bla)
Me: Thinking, “Who really cares about RAM and chipsets and Emotional bla bla…? It is a new phone: it has a good selfie camera and whatsapp. That is enough.” So yes, I am happy, elated, excited, euphoric even! I have literally made camp in utopia.
I know you probably don’t understand me, but that’s okay. I don’t blame you, because, neither did I understand, probably until now, how a shepherd would call his friends and neighbors for a celebration simply because he had left 99 sheep to go after just one stubborn sheep that decided to stray and get lost.
So He spoke this parable to them, saying: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found [it,] he lays [it] on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together [his] friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’
My ” Morris’new phone” story and this “lost sheep” story aren’t exactly related but, they somehow found their way into my brain at the same time and so what you’re going to read next are the results of having both stories in my head at ago:
We rejoice over so many temporary things (new phones for example) because they offer us some kind of joy and satisfaction. But like these things, the joy and satisfaction are only temporal, because when these things are taken from us, we are forced to fall back to our sad depressing lives.
Question: Why not rejoice over eternal things like the knowledge that God absolutely treasures and constantly rejoices over you? And the knowledge that even when you’re the black sheep that strays away from the other 99 or 999 or 9999 or whatever number it is, He will still come after you. He will pursue you until He finally wins you over to Himself. And when He’s brought you back, He will gather heaven and earth and all the angelic hosts and throw a party in your honor.
If we looked at ourselves, even just for a second, through the eyes of God, I am certain, we would never undervalue ourselves again. We would see that we are special. That we are immeasurably loved and infinitely treasured. We would see that God is willing to move heaven and earth just to have us next to Him. And we would know that to have Him is all we could ever need. And then, we would never stray from His presence.