I used to hate the story of the Prodigal Son. This snotty kid takes his inheritance before his father is dead and leaves him to spend it all on extravagance. Then he comes back and wants more help?? I was the older child, responsible, and faithful (mostly), in life and in faith. It took me forever to realize that I missed the whole point of the story. The Father gives us what we want, even if it’s not good for us. He won’t get in our way if we are determined. However, He waits at the window and watches for us to turn back. He runs to us as soon as He sees us. I’m not the older child. I’m the younger. Every time I turn away, every time I miss the mark, I am welcomed back with open arms and celebration. What a way to come home.
Luke 15:11-24 Then he said, “A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’ So the father divided the property between them. After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation. When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need. So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine. And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any. Coming to his senses he thought, ‘How many of my father’s hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger. I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”‘ So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ But his father ordered his servants, ‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.’ Then the celebration began.”