Feast of the Sto. NiƱo: Reflection

Of Being Lost

Do you remember your childhood days when your parents would bring you to malls or public places full of people? Do you remember the first time you got separated from them amid the crowd and considered yourself lost? As kids, we have been carefree most of the time, until reality hit us the first time we experienced the fear that comes with being away from those whom we trust to take care of us. That was when we learned to be obedient, at least when our elders asked us to hold their hands and follow them.

Perhaps, being lost is one of the experiences we all have gone through. Even Jesus, in today's Gospel (Luke 2:41-52), had gone through this very human experience of being away from his parents. The difference is that he was aware of what he was doing, while we were definitely panicking when we were lost the first time. In other words, Jesus was found talking with wisdom, while we were usually found crying loudly in the customer service area of a shopping center.

But being lost for the first time has its perks. It has shown us how there will always be someone who will come looking for us and who will bring us back home to where we belong. Being lost as a child has taught us to trust, not only our family members, but even people who were willing to help, at least by paging our parents and companions. Being lost helped us realize how our actions have their consequences at an early stage of our lives. It has helped us mature. It has helped us become more obedient children.

Many have downplayed the significance of this very experience that children (and parents) have. When asked about one's childhood, many would remember the happy and carefree memories they have. When asked about children, many would speak of innocence, of cuteness and of trust. But maybe, we should also remember that childhood also means getting lost and having been found, for the first time in our lives. Childhood is the period when we first experience the relief that comes with seeing someone we know after being away from them for what seemed to us to be a long time. And this is something that we have to treasure. This is something that we need to look back to, especially when we feel alone and unwanted, for in these experiences, we learn (though we sometimes forget) that someone is always looking for us, be it our families, or the One who formed us in our mothers' wombs.

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