Mike Cope's blog

Saturday, September 18, 2004

I am a loser. Not as in "winners and losers." But as in "finders and losers." I lose things. I hate to point fingers here, but it seems to have been passed along to me by a maternal gene. But enough of that. If my mom wants to start her own blog and make her own confessions, that's fine. I spend so much of my time looking for things I've lost: my sermon notes, phone numbers, CDs, keys, glasses (a particularly hard item to look for!), my wallet, my pocketknife, and my cell phone. I can't tell you how many times I've had to call my cell phone to find it. I wish I could call my wallet. My current list of things I've lost: a Brueggemann book, notes for a message I'm supposed to give in late October, and my wedding ring. I know the last item sounds alarming. But I've lost it so many times, we've learned to not be anxious. It always finds me. I'm Frodo. To be honest, it isn't THE ring. It isn't the one my beloved slipped on my finger in May of 1978. That one is long gone. I think this is the second ring; Diane believes it is the third. In some ways (given my history), it's amazing that I've had this one 17 years. And the one before it was stolen from a locker in the men's faculty dressing room at Harding (not by a faculty member, obviously). It isn't that I'm unorganized. I just set things down with my mind already giving full attention to something else. The most grievous thing I've lost (and I hate to say this after mentioning that I lost a wedding ring) is my NIV Bible that I'd had from seminary days until about 1996. I searched forever for that beloved book. The one I now have, I've held onto since then. I've tried to lose it, but each time it has returned. I've had to call a rental agency in Memphis and a church on the West Coast. But both times, it was FOUND! What a great thing it is to find something. I'm guessing that my life has had bursts of joy that many of you have never known because you don't lose things. Nearly every week there is some moment of ecstasy when I realize that something I thought might be gone for good is still around. Everyone loves the story of the lost sheep and the lost son. But I have a special appreciation for Jesus' story tucked in between those two better-known ones: the parable of the lost coin. "And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.'" That's good news.


  • Val & I are both losers, which makes for some frantic times around our house. Neither of us currently have wedding rings! BUT until you've found a lost tax return on April 15th around 11:00 p.m., you've never experienced the true joy and relief of finding a lost item. Of course it took days to straighten up the mess we created while turning the house upside down trying to find it. I'm sure we lost several more things as a result. It's an endless cycle!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/18/2004 09:54:00 AM  

  • Hi, my name is James. I am a loser. I left a Bible in Mexico City once. On another trip three years later I found it! I lost my favorite one at OC while teaching at IMPACT. Three years or so later I got a call and they'd found it! I've stopped buying Swiss Army knives, eventually I run into one of the old ones that I've lost. Still looking for the Sr. ring I lost at the church New Year's party in '90, though...but hey, never give up hope!

    By Blogger James, at 9/18/2004 10:51:00 AM  

  • Oh my goodness, I'm such a loser too. Mostly my sunglasses, keys, watch and wallet. You know, the little things. Luckily we have our spouses to either know where we put things even when we do not, or to point out the obvious lessons to be learned in leaving important things in different spots every time. Glad to know there are other losers out there too!

    By Blogger kenny, at 9/18/2004 03:27:00 PM  

  • I think EVERYTHING should have a clapper on it. You know, the thing where you clap and it beeps ... if everything DID have a clapper on it ... and you walked into your house and clapped ... would there be a deafening roar of beeps from all of the things you've lost ... under the couch ... in the chair cushion ... behind the dryer ... on top of the refridgerator ... in your pocket. Glad God doesn't need a clapper to keep up with us!

    By Blogger JD, at 9/18/2004 04:09:00 PM  

  • Hey there losers! (Just Kidding!) I am actually a finder. My husband says that I can find a penny in the middle of the street a mile away. A few weeks ago a few friends & I were on a park baseball diamond just throwing some balls around. I looked down in the dirt & found a Wedding Band! The funny thing is that I remembered that a bunch of guys from my church were on the same field the day before practicing for an upcoming softball game so I figured it might be one of theirs. Luckily it had a date engraved in it, so after a few phone calls I found the owner! It's SO much fun to return a lost item to someone. Now if I could only find a winning lottery ticket!!!!

    By Blogger Beaner, at 9/18/2004 05:01:00 PM  

  • I've said it once before on this blog, and I'll say it again:

    Soy un perdedor, baby!

    By Blogger Greg Kendall-Ball, at 9/18/2004 08:52:00 PM  

  • Normally I'm a finder but on one occasion I was a real loser. I lost my diamond pendant necklace which had once been intended to be my wedding ring but never got the chance and was later made into a necklace (but that's another story for another time). I knew I lost it outside while playing with the neighborhood kids. Several years later, my son at the age of two and a half was tromping around outside by the curb (sounds dangerous - I swear it wasn't we were right beside him) looks down and says "Look mommy something shiny!" And there it was, the chain long gone but the diamond and two rubies intact. Pure joy! Of course now he's 12 and he can't find anything.

    By Blogger Candy, at 9/19/2004 11:54:00 AM  

  • Neither a loser nor a finder am I - rather, a magnet. I can't lose anything, to save me.
    I throw away, toss out, give away, crumple, shred, recycle, sell, and all for naught - stuff just appears out of nowhere to replace what I've thrown away, tossed out, given away, crumpled, shredded, recycled, and sold. Help!!!!!!

    By Blogger Kathy, at 9/19/2004 07:27:00 PM  

  • Wow! Thanks for putting a good spin on being a "loser". The most frustrating thing is to lose a phone number or other important information that you have just written down, sometimes without even leaving your desk.. I attribute my losing problem to trying to multi-task too much. I don't know how to be more organized when dealing with 5 or 6 customers at a time (they always call back to back). It is amusing to find the "lost" item in the strangest place or wrong file the next day, but the stress involved in hunting is not a pleasant thing. I can't think of anything really important that I have lost, its just the wasted time searching that bugs me...so I guess I have lost time. The one thing I can never get back.

    By Blogger DJG, at 9/19/2004 07:35:00 PM  

  • I had a similar experience with my wedding band several years ago. One day, it just disappeared! I had no idea where it was. It was just GONE when I went to look for it on my dresser one day.

    I was a little distraught over it for a while and then - unlike the persistent folks in Jesus' stories - I eventually gave up on it.

    Then, one day, as I was moving my dresser, there it was! Nestled up against the baseboard, it had apparently fallen off of the back of the dresser months earlier.

    I was genuinely surprised by the joy that came over me in that moment. On one level it was just a ring, really. Losing it hadn't led to any marital problems (Sheila had lost her own years earlier, so she had little to complain about!). But what it symbolized to me was so powerful, that I couldn't help but be happy about finding it.

    In that brief moment, I think that I came to grasp just a little bit more about what Jesus was trying so say about God's love for me in all those stories.

    By Blogger Matt, at 9/19/2004 08:14:00 PM  

  • As the grandmother, an early carrier of the gene, often said, "If you are losing your keys, your purse, your glasses, on a regular basis, your life is too busy and you need to settle down."

    I think that is probably true - but I also know I spent many, many hours looking for her keys, her purse and her glasses - in addition to my own.

    By Blogger Coping, at 9/19/2004 08:23:00 PM  

  • Great stuff. We've been studying "lost and found"ness with our teens and recently had them share stories of a time when they had been lost. The stories were pretty typical -lost in the supermarket, lost in the toy store, lost in the mall- and all had one important fix they all shared...someone helped me find my way. A policeman pointed me in the right direction, a toy store worker walked me up and down the aisles, a friendly adult helped me get on the loudspeaker to find my dad. That was when it hit me, that's our job as evangelists. Knowing the pain of losing something (the pain that God feels) and the pain of being lost, it is our job to help point the way back for people who are wandering aimlessly through life. It is our job to seek and save the lost.

    By Blogger chrismith, at 9/20/2004 05:53:00 AM  

  • I'm a loser of my own stuff and a finder for others. Or worse, I remember where something is at the exact moment when it is strictly impossible to recover said item.

    Right now, I know exactly where my favorite Bible (small red leather NRSV, w/o apocrypha or "accessories")happens to be, but the best I can do right now is to notify someone in the general vicinity until I can reclaim it.

    I'm most disorganized, though, when everything looks neat and tidy. I can find anything in a pile and absolutely nothing in a stack. I think my brain is wired sideways.

    By Blogger Q, at 9/20/2004 06:06:00 AM  

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