(here begins my multi-part series looking over the story of the Prodigal Son. Right now I’ve only got 2 parts in mind, which is more than 1, so it makes it a multi-part. We’ll see where the Lord leads…)
When I left for college 4 years ago, I basically felt like it was my time to escape from the chains that were weighing me down, and I could finally be free on my own. I no longer had my parents time schedule over me, or their rules of where to go, when to go, how to get there, etc. After a year, I opened up my own bank account and transfered all the money that I had made over the past few years. I bought myself a cell phone on my own plan, so no need to be on a family plan with them (although I kept asking to, because that would have made my cell phone bill a whole lot cheaper). I was 18 years old, and so ready to face the world.
But I obviously couldn’t do everything for myself. I mean, tuition is quite expensive. Plus dorm housing the first 2 years and apartment rent really add up. And do you know the prices of books these days? My goodness, some of these books come out to over $1 a page. Whenever I had those expenses, that’s where the connection to my parents came in handy. I tried to make as many personal expenses with my own money, but for the things out of my range, I looked to them, because they were able to, and they were…well…my parents.
The parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-31) begins with a father and his two sons, and the youngest asking for his share in the estate, or his inheritance. Now, from what I know about inheritances and wills, the kids only receive their share once the parent passes away, so it’s basically as if the child said “Father, you are dead to me.” This kid had everything going for him, really. When you read through the passage, you find out that he comes from a rather wealthy family, due to the big celebration, the gifts given, and the many servants they had. He was living the life. But to him, it wasn’t enough. He felt so trapped under the many blessings his father gave him, that he wanted to get away from it all and experience the world.
Well, he didn’t want to get away from all of it. He still wanted his share of the inheritance. Technically, you’re not deserving of a gift of an inheritance, because you really didn’t work for any of it. But simply because you are the child of your father, you get such a great portion. And this son wanted to reap the benefits of being connected to his father, but still live following the choices he wants. And so he took his share, and left to “experience the world.”
Being children of God, He blesses us so much, and has promised us such great gifts. Here on earth as well as an eternal treasure, we are being lavished with more than we deserve. But because of our sinful nature, we desire to live the same life the world is living. We want the best of both worlds…we want to have the gifts God is giving us and eternal salvation, while continuing to be a part of this world. We’ve gotten so accustomed to the blessings of God that we tend to think His care over us is more of “holding us back” than “protecting us from”. God has greater things in mind, and only when we see things clearly through His eyes will we understand that this land is truly not our home, and we have greater things in store for us.