I have a confession to make, but first you need to hear the story that leads up to the confession.
This last summer on the Fixin’ Up The Thumb Servant Event I was working with a crew on John & Janice’s home. During the project I kept bugging Dalton to use his chalk line. It wasn’t because I am without a chalk line, I think I own about four of them. And it also wasn’t because I didn’t have one with me on the Servant Event. It was just that Dalton’s chalk line was so nice. He owned a brand new Irwin chalk line. Amazon says that this specific chalk line has:
- Easy Fill & Lock Top – Large, 1/4-turn locking top for quick chalk fill and easy access to reel internals – Easy fill & lock top
- 100′ Hi-Tensile Line – Stronger for fewer breaks and for use on rough, abrasive surfaces – 2.5X stronger than traditional chalk reels
- 3:1 Gear Ratio Rewinds line 3X faster than traditional chalk reels
- Robust Steel Handle and Large Ergonomic Clutch For increased durability, strength, and torque
- Wide-prong Hook For secure anchoring
This is not an ad for Irwin, but the thing worked (as my dad would say), “slicker than snot.” Some have accused me of coveting, but I’ll have to leave that for another blog post.
About a month after the Servant Event was over, Eric Bitzer came into my office and said, “Here, I got something for you.” I opened up a package to find a brand new Irwin chalk line just like Daltons! I was thrilled!
Now fast-forward again. After a time I was looking in my garage for that chalk line and couldn’t find it. I wracked my brain over where I had put that chalk line. Eric had given it to me in my office so I looked everywhere in my office. I checked where I put my chalk lines, matter of fact I even looked all over the floor under where I store my chalk lines in case it fell down behind something. Months went by and I could not find that chalk line anywhere. As we started to get closer and closer to this summer’s Servant Event I was thinking to myself that I was going to have to go out and buy a brand new Irwin chalk line because there was no way that I could tell Eric that I had lost the one that he gave me, and he would for sure wonder why I didn’t use that chalk line during the Servant Event.
Finally I mentioned my predicament to my son Nathan. He said, “yeah, you gave me that chalk line when you were giving me tools.” To which I replied, “you can have a chalk line, but I need that one back!” I was so relieved because the lost had been found.
It reminds me of the “lost” chapter of the Bible, Luke 15. Not “lost” because we lost it, but because Jesus tells three parables about things being lost.
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
The Parable of the Lost Coin
“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
The Parable of the Prodigal Son
And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.
“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.
“Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’” (Luke 15 ESV)
It’s wonderful to find something that has been lost. Believe me, I’m just tickled every time I use that chalk line (especially because there is such a story behind it now). However, there is way more weight to a lost person being found! Indeed, as Jesus puts it, “there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” That’s better than any chalk line.