Not long ago, The Pastor, our son, and I visited a large church in my hometown. As we entered the spacious foyer area, it was crowded with people going this way and that. Greeters were in the doorway to the huge sanctuary handing out bulletins and welcome cards and shaking hands with everyone passing by.
As we approached the sanctuary, The Pastor realized he knew one of the greeters from days gone by. They shook hands and talked for a minute and I, oblivious to their conversation, stood in the entryway and scanned the sanctuary for a good seat and/or someone I knew. The pastor finished talking, we started to walk in, and immediately realized our son wasn't with us.
We retreated to the foyer, scanned the room, and almost instantly saw him, though he didn't see us. A different greeter had said hello to him and then offered him a coloring paper and a pencil. Then something happened. He looked up to see that we weren't right there with him. I saw the panic in his eyes. I saw him start to wander the wrong way and then burst into tears. My heart broke.
It only lasted a second or two, as the greeter who had been talking to him saw us coming toward him and turned him back in our direction, but I was deeply moved by those few seconds. He thought he was lost. He thought he was alone. He was scared. I saw him and knew it was happening even before he did. He wandered away from where he was supposed to be even though we had told him to stay close.
How much are we like that with our Heavenly Father? He tells us to stay close, but we get distracted or offered something other than him. We wander off, just for a second and are lost, or at least think we are. It must break his heart as he watches us do it. He knows that we are going in the wrong direction but he's right there waiting for us when we turn around and head back towards him.
If you've wandered off or have been distracted with something other than the Savior lately, let me encourage you to turn back to him. You're not lost. He knows right where you are and he's just waiting for you to come back. He'll even come to meet you. And, once you get back with him...stay close!