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The Parable of the Lost Landscaping Plan


Don’t matter how much money you got, there’s only two kinds of people: there’s saved people and there’s lost people.

Bob Dylan

Have you ever lost something?

You remember having the item at one point in time, but now you can’t find it.

The search begins.  You look all over the place for your lost item.  Every closet, every corner, and every crack is checked and checked again.  You look under every bed, and you look everywhere else.  The search continues until you find the lost item or until you lose hope.

When you find the item (especially after a long search process), you celebrate.

Recurring Theme

This seems to be a recurring theme in my life.  In June, I wrote about The Parable of the Lost Blue Water Bottle.  There was much rejoicing when I found my lost bottle.  Since I made this story public, I’ve had several people point out my water bottle, “Is that the famous blue water bottle?”

Almost two years ago, I wrote about a lost item.

Over two years ago, I wrote about a lost child.

Four years ago, I wrote about a lost key.

Over five years ago, I wrote about a lost landscaping plan.

The lost and found theme that seems to run through my life is powerful.  Despite the countless stories of missing items, I’m generally a very organized person.  But God seems to be trying to get my attention.


My collection of lost and found stories grew last weekend when I discovered a long-lost item.

At my house, we have been going through a season of de-cluttering.  We are selling and giving things away, and we are simply discarding things we no longer need.  As we go through each room in the house, we take time to sort through the “stuff” we have accumulated since we moved into our house ten years ago.  I’m amazed to discover how many things we never use.

Last weekend, we spent the day cleaning up our basement.  As I was cleaning up my workshop area, I came across a brown bag full of paperwork.  I decided I should probably look through the paperwork to see if anything needed to be saved.  After twenty minutes of paging through appliance owner’s manuals and other miscellaneous pieces of paper, I discovered a familiar folded up document – I found our lost landscaping plan!

A smile immediately crossed my face, and the smile quickly turned into laughter.  I couldn’t contain my excitement.  I ran upstairs where Leanne and Isaac were preparing lunch, and I unfolded the landscaping plan for them to see.  They could hardly believe their eyes.

We had the landscaping plan designed for us shortly after we moved into the house.  We had big dreams of using the plan to beautify our property over the years.  Unfortunately, we lost the landscaping plan several years ago, and the initial landscaping plans were replaced with a new make-it-up-as-we-go plan.  We looked high and low (but not in the brown bag in the basement).

Whenever we lose an item in our house, our family jokes that the lost item must be with the landscaping plan.

This week, we celebrated the return of our landscaping plan with our H.O.P.E. group.  Leanne made cake.  I shared the story of our rediscovered landscaping plans.  And our friends helped us celebrate.

I’m planning to frame the landscaping plan to hang in our house as a reminder.  This new wall hanging will remind our family of the humorous story that has become a part of our history.  And the wall hanging will remind me of something else…

We Were All Lost

At one point or another, we were all lost.  God went to great lengths to “find” us.  He sent his Son to give us a way home.  When we decide to follow Christ, there is much rejoicing in heaven.  My lost landscaping plan reminds of the measures God took to help me find my way home, and the landscaping plan reminds me of the opportunity to share God’s love with others.

If you want to read more stories about the lost and found, check out Luke 15.

When was the last time you found something you previously lost?  How did you celebrate when you found the missing item?  Share your thoughts in the comments.