Road Trip: Headed Home
So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Luke 15:20
When I find myself driving in the wrong direction, it can be difficult for me to turn around. First, there’s the chance I may not actually be lost. Maybe I’m just psyching myself out into thinking I made a wrong turn. Second, I may recognize a familiar road or landmark up ahead and figure out where to go. Third, it’s just difficult and frustrating to admit a mistake and humbly stop to ask for help or turn back around. In the end, change does not happen unless we admit we need to change.
In the parable of the Prodigal Son, a young man squanders his inheritance and finds himself at rock bottom. It’s not until he’s stuck eating with pigs that he finally “comes to himself” and realizes his need to go back home. The man heads home, ready to live as his father’s servant. Yet, the father offers him grace he never expected. The son is embraced and his return is celebrated. Through the parable, we begin to understand God’s love and compassion, even for those of us who find ourselves going the wrong way.
So, are we in need of a change but afraid or too prideful to admit our error? We should not fear admitting our wrongs. For God’s love is greater than any love we have ever known. God’s waiting for us, ready to run towards us and embrace us as a parent embraces a lost child. In our relationship with God, we find our true home: a home filled with compassion and unconditional love. When we get lost or worn down, it’s time to go home to the Father who waits for us with open arms.