“Lost and Found”
I was so saddened to see that Whitney Houston had died this past weekend. She was 48 years old and had a history of drug and alcohol abuse. They still have not disclosed the cause of death so the jury is still out on whether it was related to drugs or alcohol. I was reading some bio information on Whitney Houston that was most interesting. She grew up in Newark, New Jersey. Her mother Cissy Houston was the choir director for the New Hope Baptist Church and singing in the church is where Whitney Houston formed her love of music and of sharing her extraordinary musical gift. The article went on to say that Whitney understood that her ability to sing was God’s gift to her. Of course, as she began her career she moved away from her roots in the church. Most people would envy such a life as she has lived with fame and fortune. There is nothing wrong with fame and fortune unless it becomes the purpose around which one attempts to build a life. I don’t know enough about Whitney Houston’s life to make a very informed judgment concerning what happened in that hotel room. What I do know is that somewhere, somehow Whitney Houston lost her way in life.
When I read such stories I become saddened at the reality of apparent aimless living. I remember hearing her sing and her rendition of “I will always love you,” will always be my favorite. It is easy to lose one’s way in life. I should know, because I have been lost more times than I would ever care to admit. In my own experiences of being lost it always has something to do with losing my sense of God. What I have learned over the years is that when God is not an active, shaping, present force in my life I don’t do very well. Left to my own devices I am capable of messing life up pretty badly. Whitney Houston’s story resonates with me more than I would ever care to admit. Oh, I have not ever had an issue with drugs or alcohol but I do know what it feels like to have lose my way in life. It is not a good feeling. As a matter of fact there is a desperateness to it that is consuming and most frightening. I have been lucky in my lostness. Somehow, in some way God has always managed to get my attention. Once I realized God was present in the midst of whatever I was experiencing it was the beginning of finding my way again. I don’t begin to know what happened to Whitney Houston. Each of our life situations brings its own unique set of circumstances. But based on what I have read and what was public knowledge somehow, some way she just lost her way. When I read of such stories I am always saddened and heartbroken not only for the one who is lost but for all of those around them who love them so much.
Somewhere today there are family and friends who have lost someone they loved so very much. My prayer for them and for others like them is that they experience the very presence of God. I know that if they can experience that present reality God will lead them where they need to go. We live in a world full of people who have just lost their way for one reason or another. When you realize that truth it makes the work that we do in the church all the more relevant and pressing. After all Jesus came to seek the lost.
I know because he has found me more times than I could ever remember. Maybe today, because of the grace of God, Whitney Houston finally realizes the truth and rest that such a reality brings to living and to dying!
I will see you on the road,