Filed under: Spiritual Formation
A few weeks ago my 11 year old son was having a sleep over with one of his buddies. It was a two-nighter and his mother and I we weren’t sure sleeping over for the second night was such a good idea. Sure enough, as we were settling in for the night the phone rang.
“Dad, I wanna come home. Can you come and get me?”
I couldn’t respond quickly enough.
“I’ll be right there,” I said as I grabbed my car keys.
He’s actually had a few aborted sleepovers through the years and I always love going to pick him up. This particular time as we drove home in the minivan I decided it was the perfect time to share an important message.
“You can always come home, you know. Never forget that. Whether you’re 11 or 20 or 30 or 50 (he grinned sheepishly) it doesn’t matter… you can always come home. Never forget that.”
I’m not sure what he thought of my words but I had no doubt about my goal for the conversation. I wanted this truth etched in his heart and mind. I wanted it to sink in to the very fiber of his being. I wanted him to know that he would always be loved and welcomed home no matter how terrible things seemed or how badly he messed up.
Then it dawned on me that I was feeling something similar to what Father God feels toward us. No matter how far we wander, no matter how poor the choices we make, no matter how big the messes we create… we can always come home… and we’ll always be welcomed with open arms. Always.
“There was once a man who had two sons. The younger said to his father, ‘Father, I want right now what’s coming to me.’
“So the father divided the property between them. It wasn’t long before the younger son packed his bags and left for a distant country. There, undisciplined and dissipated, he wasted everything he had. After he had gone through all his money, there was a bad famine all through that country and he began to hurt. He signed on with a citizen there who assigned him to his fields to slop the pigs. He was so hungry he would have eaten the corncobs in the pig slop, but no one would give him any.
“That brought him to his senses. He said, ‘All those farmhands working for my father sit down to three meals a day, and here I am starving to death. I’m going back to my father. I’ll say to him, Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son. Take me on as a hired hand.’ He got right up and went home to his father.
“When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. The son started his speech: ‘Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son ever again.’
“But the father wasn’t listening. He was calling to the servants, ‘Quick. Bring a clean set of clothes and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then get a grain-fed heifer and roast it. We’re going to feast! We’re going to have a wonderful time! My son is here—given up for dead and now alive! Given up for lost and now found!’
Luke 15:11-24 (The Message)
2 Comments so far
Leave a comment