English Standard Version (ESV)
It's hard to be lost when you're a kid. I still remember the moments of terror when, as a small child, you'd get turned around in a grocery store or the flea market and you'd have lost sight of your parent and then you'd very quickly grow certain that you'd never see your parents again and they'd sell the house and move to Cabo and you'd forever wander the earth in search of your family. It was awful for the 30 seconds you couldn't see them, and then you'd realize they were 10 feet away and you simply looked past them.
When we're lost in sin, it's as though we're lost but don't realize it. We've wandered away from the path that leads to life, but it isn't until God points out to us how far we are from the path that we recognize how truly lost we are, and then, in that moment of terror, we're certain that it's all going to come crashing down around us.
Then, in that moment of despair, we remember that God sent Jesus to the cross to die for our sin, that we might have life, and have it abundantly, that we might have joy and hope and all the other things sin tries to take from us. God leads us into life, but it is important for us to first realize just how lost we are. This is what it means for God's kindness is meant to lead us to repentance -- it is God's love that shows us how lost we are, that we may rejoice and, with God's help and by the light of his love, work back toward the path that leads to life.