You don’t want to be lost around a bunch of Christians,

especially ones you don’t know.

Maybe that’s just me.

The lobby was standard for a church of several thousand people.The usual Christian coffee shop stretched along the west wall. Across from that, the bookstore swarmed with Jesus-people. A tunnel of white light extended to the north. The bright hallway was the church’s art gallery.  A fountain of a woman drawing water from a well occupied the center of the room.

My pupils probably dilated as my eyes scanned the enormous room, trying to find an entrance to the auditorium. What lobby doesn’t lead to the sanctuary? No signs or plaques stuck to walls told me which way to go. No giant banners waving from the ceiling provided direction. No doors looked as if they’d lead one to a room that could house thousands of people for a church service, either.

I thought about asking one of the many freakishly good-looking people walking around if they could point me in the right direction, but decided that I had more than enough time to explore and I might find a restroom while I was at it. I looked at the hallway that had been transformed into the art gallery and wondered if they’d funnel people through there, and subject traversing worshipers to mediocre art depicting Bible stories and Church history. I decided they wouldn’t. Two yellow halls diverged up ahead, which would I take?

Both were equally busy. Maybe they led to different ends of the sanctuary. I took the right. I meandered past classrooms, fake plastic trees, large families, the church offices, and the music storage room before the hallway morphed into a staircase. Still no signs.

I peered up from the foot of the stairs, feeling like a small child. This probably wasn’t going where I wanted to be and if I looked frightened, somebody would probably talk to me. Talking to strange Christians is sometimes less than desirable. So I set my jaw, relaxed my posture a little, and resumed exploring as if I knew where I was going.

Sometimes, I see people lost at church. Funny enough, they aren’t visitors from out of town or people nearing the end of their pre-Jesus days. They’re individuals who fell in love with God and have been lost since. I’ve watched friends go from job to job, start and quit school and volunteer at a million different places, trying to find something that fit. They aren’t necessarily unhappy, but don’t come across as settled either.

Maybe God screwed their plans up when He introduced Himself to them and they haven’t figured out what to do instead of pursuing their once vied for careers in anarchy, selfishness, apparel sales and other evils. Perhaps He’s been telling them what to do and they haven’t agreed to it yet. Maybe success has eluded them in every attempt they’ve made at doing something great for God.

Either way, they wander.

Only a few of them wander out of God’s house. The rest show up in the north hall one day, appear in the coffee shop after that and when their time steaming milk and pulling shots is done, land in a classroom where they’ll teach Sunday school until they’ve decided they never want children of their own. Regardless of what they do, I know I’ll probably always see them in the sanctuary, at one time or another.

I guess it’s true,

not all who wander are lost.