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Archive for December 12th, 2013

The Road Back to God

The Road Back

The story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32 is one of the better known and often preached passages of the New Testament.  Pastors talk about the attitude of the father and the prodigal’s brother who demonstrated a contrast in forgiveness/unforgiveness.  They talk about the pride of the prodigal that led to his departure and his fall into the pit of despair.

But what about the journey back?  What must it have been like as the prodigal turned from his place among the swine, lifted himself to his feet, cleaned up just a little and headed home?  What did he notice on the road home that looked a little different as he traveled back that route toward his awaiting father?  Were there memories of gratefulness that he had forgotten as he walked away sometime before?  What was the along the road, both in his thoughts and in reality, that was different as he traveled back?  I wonder if he realized the fool he appeared to be when he was going out?  I wonder if he noticed how truly blessed he had been.  Was he like a blind man who could suddenly see or a deaf man who could suddenly hear?  Did he realize that what he had rejected on the way out was oh so wonderful coming back home?

The journey back home did not happen in an instant.  He was not supernaturally transported from the pig pen to his father’s house.  He had to journey back.  He had to have time to reflect on what he had done in going out.  I wonder if he ever thought about stopping halfway back – it certainly was better than the pig pen?  But no, the Bible tells us he came all the way home.  He refused to stop half-way.

What do we teach folks who in their own life are prodigals?  Do we teach them to come all the way home or is it ok just to turn and head home?  Certainly half way back is a lot better than the pig pen, but where do they really need to be?  Is it right for us to just get comfortable being part way back or should we be all the way home?  How about you,  have you come all the way back to God or are you comfortable enough to be half-way home?