My acting career began in elementary school. I was given a starring role in a nativity play as one of the three wise men. Ironic. I know. The story of the prodigal son is played out in the lives of three central actors: the prodigal, the older bother, and their dad. We’ll look at each of them over these next three blogs. Henri Nouwen, in his book The Return of the Prodigal Son, invites us to consider which of the three characters is representative of our lives today. Who am I in this story?
The son. I notice two major movements in his scenes: the running away from home and the running back to home. The son, for undisclosed reasons, wanted out of his sheltered life and after relatively easy negations with his father he hightailed it out of dodge, cash in hand, party-ready. That plan works out exceptionally well for him and with money gone, life in shambles, and a humbled heart the second movement begins. This movement is a complete one-eighty journey back to his home and a restoration back into the life of his family. We are all somewhere in this movement away from or closer to our HOME. There really is no neutral ground in our relationship with God and in living out His purposes for our lives. Am I closer to God today than I was last week? Last month? Last year? Am I moving closer to Him at a steady, consistent pace, and allowing the movements of His grace and refinements of His character develop me into the person I should be? Have I allowed some slow drift to occur in my heart away from HOME? Have I allowed myself some distance to creep in between the Father’s heart and mine? Have I grown in my sensitivity to the subtle darkness in my thoughts, words, or actions. No matter where we find ourselves on the road away or the road back I am thankful that the Father is unfazed by my movements. His love, constant. His patience, amazing. His grace, unchanging. I’m thankful that “His love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me.” Why not move a little closer to HOME? Today.