Spirituality, Liturgy and the Tao of Inner Peace
While on spiritual retreat, I heard a message on the prodigal son. For those of you that might not know this biblical parable, here is a short summary in my own words. A wealthy father has two sons, the younger of the two comes to the father and ask for his inheritance early and the father agrees and gives him his inheritance early. The son goes off to live the “high” life and finds himself in a terrible station of life cleaning up after the pigs, so hungry he day dreams of eating the pig slop. Remembering that even his father’s servants have it better than he, he comes up with a lengthy apology and plans to beg his father’s forgiveness and ask to be a granted back home as servant in his father’s home. Upon arriving home he never gets to that much prepared speech, because his father runs to greet him in the street, hugs him and says to his servants go and get the ring and kill the fattened calf because my son was lost, and now he is found, he is HOME! We shall celebrate tonight! Meanwhile, the oldest son is pouting and really who can blame him, I mean he has been there working being a “good boy” the whole time!!! When did his father ever kill a fatted calf for him to have a party?? I always had a soft spot for that older son…but this is not about him today.
As a Christian and someone who has been going to church since pre-birth, I have heard this story countless times. It is like a nursery rhyme or tale told since you were a child, part of my Christian DNA. In my 39 years I always related to the older son. I was NEVER the prodigal son, but I knew plenty of people I would classify that way, just not me. I am the good child – good grades, nice college I was the one at home while others “partied” their adolescents away in ignorance and folly only to come home later and receive MY fattened calf.
Funny how God tends to knock us off that high horse of sorts and we fall exactly where we need to be at the time. One of the failings, I fear, that many of us fall into, is reading parables so literally…I was literally thinking of someone leaving home partying, drinking. I was staring, if you will, at the oak tree missing the enchanted forest of sorts. This story is so much more, and that night I saw so much more, maybe you will too. I had been the prodigal son my cocky arrogant-self had told God I know all the stories I don’t need to wait to the end…give me my way now. I can control my destiny, my life, I got this, and I don’t need you anymore I will go out on my own.
I made a mess, and like many of you, I am sure as well, I fell into the pits of the pig slop begging for scraps in a world that could care less. Bigger than that I, like the prodigal son, carried the shame and guilt of my transgressions. How will God ever love me? Forgive me? Take me back? I am not worthy of being his child, teaching his word, sharing his love, because I have sinned so badly. On that night, I realized that the baggage of that guilt and shame was a sin too, because he is running to greet me saying welcome home my child! No explanation needed welcome home! I love you! I miss you! I am so glad you are home! I don’t even have time for my speech because he is already done all that needs to be done.
He welcomes me, and he welcomes you, and there is nothing in this world that can separate you from the LOVE of God! Nothing.
#LoveOneAnother #Loveyourself #Godlovesyounomatterwhat