Brooks and Dunn was maybe the greatest country duet of all time. They belted out hit after hit. They released 50 singles during their first stint together. Twenty went to number one on the country charts and 19 more made the top ten.
One of my favorites is Lost and Found. It has a sexy, smooth vibe to it with an undertone of sadness. It is about losing something (someone) you cherish through neglect. The phrase that I locked in on when the song came out and the one I still play on a loop in my head from time to time is this:
It’s kinda like a lost and found
In a border town
Askin’ bout a diamond ring
They just look at you
Like you’ve lost your mind
Say they haven’t seen a thing
Powerful imagery there, don’t you think? A border town, where things have a penchant for disappearing forever, would be maybe the worst place to lose something you value.
Every town is a border town
Sometime around 2009, I was working as an independent claims adjuster on a big hail storm in El Paso. For a solid month, my residence was an extended stay hotel just two miles from the busiest southern border crossing in the United States. I was informed by the hotel that they were not responsible for the loss of belongings, including vehicles. I was also told they averaged losing about a vehicle per month out of their parking lot. I was driving a beautiful Ram 2500 with a Cummins diesel engine. It was a coveted vehicle, among the most vulnerable to theft. I worried about my truck every night for four weeks. It was never stolen, nor were any other vehicles in that lot during that period.
I drove my truck home, relieved and flush with cash, having completed one of the most lucrative storms I would ever work. I parked her safely in my driveway in Grand Prairie, Texas, and woke the next morning to find it gone. Ironically, it was stolen. That is beside the point I am here to make, but still…kind of funny.
When you lose something you value, every town is a border town. Things are easier to lose than to recover.
I have enjoyed good success finding lost things for my family. Retracing your steps is always Priority One. Ask yourself…
Where have I been?
What have I done?
At what place and time was I most likely to have lost my grip on it, laid it down, and walked away?
Whether it is a misplaced pair of glasses or a diamond ring, fortune has smiled on me more often than not in my effort to track down lost things, thanks to this logical approach.
Some things are harder to retrieve than others. Faith is one. A broken relationship is another. Friendship. Trust. Self-worth. Hope. The big-ticket items that the marketplace is powerless to evaluate. Things that we intuitively perceive as invaluable, irreplaceable. Those things, once lost, are much harder to locate. You go looking for them with the same sick feeling in the pit of your stomach as Brooks & Dunn’s distraught bride in a border town pawnshop, looking for that lost ring that represents everything she ever dreamed.
The thing about losing something as fragile as friendship, trust, self-worth, or hope is this: even if it is rediscovered, reestablished, it is often a lesser version of its former self. The friendship is tarnished by hurt feelings, harsh words, and heavy thoughts. The trust is broken and, though mended somewhat with time, the question lingers, the fear abides. Self-worth is often victimized externally. Maybe it is the acid words of an angry parent or the cruel laughter of peers. To learn to see yourself through divine lenses is the thing, but if others keep holding up the mirror of ridicule, accusation, or spite for you to see yourself in…well, that’s a challenge, isn’t it?
So, how do we do this lost and found thing with the stuff we value most, the stuff of life that cannot be replaced?
First, Don’t lose it. Whatever it is you value most, protect it. Guard it. Take care to take care of it. Never take it for granted. Don’t lose it.
If you do lose it, recognize it right away and start your recovery. Expediency is vital. If you need forgiveness, ask for it. If you need help, seek it. Don’t let foolish pride or ignorance or negligence take your valuables across that border to the land of the forever lost.
If you have wasted more time than you should have and now you just don’t know, start that search-and-rescue effort right away. Do the hard work. Take the risk. Swallow your pride. It is only worth what you will pay. What is it worth to you?
It’s kind of like a lost-and-found in a border town. It is not easy to recover. Only you can decide if it is worth the effort and the cost.