Don't Be Afraid to Stand Out...
That's how the lost get found!
As I scrolled though my Facebook feed on Sunday, November 4th, something jumped out at me. At Smithville Lake (a lake about 30 minutes from my home in Independence) a Pacific Loon had been spotted. I clicked on the link in the post and looked over some pictures. Common Loons and Pacific Loons are very similar, and often mistaken for each other. After looking over the images I agreed that it was a Pacific Loon. I grabbed my camera and headed out.
Pacific Loons are VERY rare in Missouri. They normally migrate along the Pacific coastline. The few that end up in the middle of the country are really lost. I was lucky to find this poor little Pacific Loon after about 30 minutes of searching. I saw many other birds that you’ll get to see at the end of this blog, but these first two images show the difference between Pacific and Common Loons.
It was a fun search. Very exciting to finally check a new bird off of my “Life List.” The Pacific Loon is species number 278. Hopefully by next year I’ll hit 300. When I got home I had some time to think about this poor little Pacific Loon. How did he get so lost? Why wasn’t he with the others of his kind? Why didn’t his “friends” help him back to the right path? Okay, so maybe I was overthinking this, but I was reminded of one of my favorite Bible verses.
1 Corinthians 15:33.
“Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”
I know that this poor little Pacific Loon probably didn’t make a conscious choice to hang out with the wrong group of loons, but he was still led astray regardless. I think there is an important lesson for us to learn here. We need to be focused on who we associate with. We are warned about this many more times in the bible that just the verse above.
1 Corinthians 5:11
“But now I am writing you not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer who is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or verbally abusive, a drunkard or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person.”
2 Thessalonians 3:6
“Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from every brother who walks irresponsibly and not according to the tradition received from us.”
“The one who walks with the wise will become wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm.”
As you go about your life, make intentional choices about who you are spending your time with. If they aren’t making you better, then they are probably making you worse. Be the light in the world. Don’t let the darkness snuff you out.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Continued after the pictures… I have more thoughts!!!
Normally this is where I would be done and give you the name of the song that inspired my title. However I’ve spent more time thinking about this and have some more thoughts… actually, more questions. The young adults class that I teach on Sundays is studying Galatians currently. In preparing for my lesson I came across this verse, which led me to several others.
“Brothers, if someone is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual should restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so you also won't be tempted.”
“Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
“My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”
“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.”
How can I separate myself from the ones in the world who would be bad influences, but still go and try to restore people? The great commission says that my job is to go into all the world. Surely there are some bad people there. What do I do when I meet them? More importantly… what would Jesus do when he met them?
If I want to wear the title of Christian, I need to live my life like Christ did. In the world, seeking and saving the lost. I didn’t do anything to save this poor little LOST Pacific Loon, but I did seek him. There are many lost in the world, perhaps I should have the same enthusiasm for those lost individuals as I do for birds… after all…
“…you are worth more than many sparrows.”
And so are the lost.
Song: The Lost Get Found by Britt Nicole