Acts 11:25-26a Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch.
Just a random exercise… what results do you find when you Google your name? Is that information enough to locate you exactly? I suggested Google because it appears to be a one stop shop to find anything, even people. Rather unfortunate then that Barnabas did not have access to the Internet in his search for Saul.
Often the kind of things one will see in a movie, people set off to unknown destinations looking for a specific individual. Normally, such search missions are carried out without an exact location, usually approximated bearings, such as last known location or working environment. Tarsus, was a vibrant and busy trading city in the times of the Apostles and with an estimated population of around 500000, the chances of finding one man within its four corners was 1 in 500000.
However, unlike the many stories of disappointment me hear about others never locating the people they set out in search of, Barnabas found Saul. So the question to reflect on is the how? How did he find him?
The truth is Paul would have been easy to find for he was an individual on a specific assignment and would have been known by multiple inhabitants of the city. He would surely have carved a niche for himself and become a man identifiable via specific markers. Our own question thus for reflection is ‘how easily can we be found?’
We seem to be oblivious of this reality in our pursuit of similarity – ‘gaining the things everybody else does and becoming like everyone else, but in doing so, we often forget that each one of us has been uniquely forged. Beloved, our similarities will only create our comforts, it is our differences that bring our rewards. So how different are you and in spite of your location, can you be found if sought after?