The Parable Of The Lost Blue Water Bottle


Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.

Henry David Thoreau

I have a blue water bottle.  It travels with me most places I go.  From the looks of it, the blue water bottle isn’t anything special.  I picked it up at Target several years ago for $5.  It’s metal, and it has scratches and dents all over it.  I’ve had to hammer out the bottom of the bottle several times, so it can stand up straight on a flat surface without wobbling.

I could easily replace the bottle, but I’m hoping it will stick with me for a while.  It has value to me.  It’s been to Guatemala three times so far.  It reminds me of my times there, and it also reminds me to be thankful for the clean water I have at home.  In some ways, I feel like I would be lost without my blue water bottle.

Friday night, I took my blue water bottle to Hannah’s graduation ceremony.  I took a few sips of water throughout the evening, and I tucked the bottle under my chair to prevent others from tripping over it.

At the end of the ceremony, we stood up and moved into the sea of graduates in hopes of finding Hannah.  When we found her, we embraced, celebrated, and preserved the occasion with pictures in the middle of the football field.  Eventually, we exited the stadium and headed to our car and home weaving through the heavy foot and vehicle traffic along the way.

As we pulled into our driveway, I realized I had left my precious water bottle under my chair.  I was crushed.  I knew I couldn’t go back for the bottle that night as I didn’t want to sit in traffic for another hour while our family waited at home, so I did the only thing I knew how to do.  I tried to move on.

Friday night, I tossed and turned in bed as I reflected on Hannah’s milestone, time with our extended family, the party coming up the next day, and my lost water bottle.

On Saturday morning, I woke up early to take care of a few things.  Then, I drove back over to the high school in hopes of finding my water bottle.  When I arrived there were a few people on the field stacking chairs and tearing down the stage.  I was hopeful that my blue water bottle would be found.  As I walked towards the chair I had been sitting in, I was saddened not to see any signs of my blue water bottle.

Next, I did the natural thing, and I started looking under all the other chairs.  I walked towards the stage to see if anyone on the tear down crew had seen my prized possession.  Luckily, one of the maintenance staff members (who thought I looked a little old to have just graduated) offered to help.  He drove over to the grounds building at the side of the field, and we looked through the area to see if my bottle happened to make its way over there.  No luck.

Then one of his team members rolled up in his gator.  We asked if he had picked up a water bottle from the night before, and his response caused my heart to leap.  He said, “You mean a blue water bottle?”  Within minutes, I was reunited with my treasured, blue water bottle.  I thanked both of the gentlemen and explained how much the bottle meant to me.  They were glad to help.

As I brought my blue water bottle back into the house, I proclaimed “The lost has been found.  All is right.  My blue water bottle which was lost has now been found.”  And we celebrated later that day with a big party under a tent in our backyard.  Actually, the party was for Hannah’s graduation, but I think I celebrated a little bit more knowing my blue water bottle was safe and sound.

Every time I find something I previously lost, I am reminded to what lengths the Father went to find me.  He sent His Son to pay the price for my sins and to make it possible for me to come home – safe and sound.  I am blessed!

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coin and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?  And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’  In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”  Luke 15:8-10

When was the last time you lost something that meant a lot to you?  How did you go about searching for your lost item?  What did you do when you found it?  Share your thoughts in the comments.