Thursday, April 29, 2010

Nine Tips to Finding Things that are Lost

I am a world class finder if I do say so myself. That is, when it comes to finding things that are lost I am the go-to guy. I pride myself on being able to find it if it is lost. In fact, I can’t not want to try and find it (I’m aware of the bad grammar). It becomes a challenge.

1. It’s got to be somewhere. Everything is somewhere unless the earth has swallowed it up in some biblical fashion. Barring that, it has to be somewhere. In fact it is probably right where you (or someone else) left it. I say probably because sometimes strange things happen.

A few weeks ago, we lost our keys. There are only a few places where we put our keys and it made no sense that we could not find them. After a long search, I looked behind the shelf (again) on which we frequently place our keys and noticed that somehow they had been pushed off the shelf but had never reached the floor. Instead, they were caught in the phone wires and dangling in the air. Alas, sometimes we don’t find what we have lost. I lost some important keys a few years ago in our home and never found them. I suspect they accidentally fell in the trash or something. But, rest assured, in most cases, that which is lost has got to be somewhere.

2. Don’t panic! Panic makes you hurry. It causes us not to look thoroughly in each possible place. Then, later, when we haven’t found it, we feel like we have exhausted every possibility. In truth, we haven’t really searched properly and have to do it all again. We usually find things in places where we thought we had already looked.

I have a lot of books. They are not organized and so I am frequently searching the shelves for that book I know I have. Somehow, we can look right past the very thing we are looking for, especially when it is one lost thing among many things that we are not looking for. On top of that, panic doesn’t help. It has to be somewhere so slow down, and don’t panic.

3. If it isn’t in the likely places it must be in an unlikely place. This is simple yet profound (if profundity is allowed in such a banal discussion). So, if your keys, or whatever, aren’t where they are supposed to be, check the refrigerator.

4. If it is a pair of things and you have found one, the other is probably not too far away. Think about it: you can’t find your other shoe. Unless you have a habit of taking off one shoe downstairs, walking awhile with the other shoe still on and then taking it off upstairs, then probably you did what you always do. Search in the same proximity as the shoe you found.

5. Don’t automatically blame someone else. It will be egg on your face when you find it and realize that it was your fault or no one’s.

6. Don’t give up, don’t get discouraged. If you have looked every place you can think of with still no findy-find, take a break and try again a little later. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Two sets of eyes are better than one.

That brings us to one last option that has proven to be a real help many times: Ask God to help you. I know there may be a number of reasons why you might not do that: you don’t want to bother him with small things, etc. But, the fact is that He cares about you and will get involved with you even in the mundane things. Besides, sometimes it’s not mundane. Just a few weeks ago, one thing led to another and I lost my eight gig thumb drive. Some very important things were on that drive. I looked everywhere (I thought) but could not find it. I prayed about it and it dawned on me to check a place where I had not considered and I found it! In time to keep it from going through the washing machine.

How about you? Do you have a process that helps you find things or a story about something lost that was finally found?


  1. I have had many times when I, or a family member, lost something. Once I ask God to lead me to it, I generally find the item within a few minutes.

  2. Thanks Louis. My experience has been the same. In fact, sometimes within seconds! As I was finishing this blog Seth came home saying he had lost his wallet. We looked and did not find it. So, I prayed with him at bedtime (and before) that we might find it. This morning at 7:30, a woman called saying she had found it in the road in Happauge, scattered but basically intact including money!