Monday, May 10, 2010

The Prodigal Son-Part 1

This weekend when I was driving the Lord just spoke right to my was one of those times you know it's the Lord because you think "where did that come from?!"  Once I cleared all of the jumbled thoughts in my head, I realized the Lord was using the story of the Prodigal Son and showing me how I have played every character in that story.  I haven't been able to get it off of my mind ever since, so I am going to try and make sense of it here.  This won't be anything too deep or super theological, because quite frankly, that's not me.  This is more about my journey I guess, more about where I am going, and how I am getting there. 

Today I am going to focus on the older brother in the story...
"The older brother stalked off in an angry sulk and refused to join in. His father came out and tried to talk to him, but he wouldn't listen. The son said, 'Look how many years I've stayed here serving you, never giving you one moment of grief, but have you ever thrown a party for me and my friends? Then this son of yours who has thrown away your money on whores shows up and you go all out with a feast!' Luke 15:28-30 Msg

This is how I feel a lot of the time.  I am a huge rule follower, and I am also a people pleaser, a deadly combination.  I have a servants heart, yet I want to be recognized for my good deeds.  So when I see people who in my judgmental eyes get something I selfishly don't think they deserve, I get mad.  I am like the older brother, I stomp off and moan.  This is really hard when someone has something that I want, and I am not talking about a car or clothes, I am talking like money, good fortune, a baby, etc.  I try to be happy in most cases, but sometimes under my breathe I ask God, "why them and not me?"  Then I go into my mantra about I try to be a good person, I pray, I serve others, I give of myself to my church, I do this, I do that, etc, etc.  Then one Sunday a couple months back, Mark (our Minister) said something to the effect of, "God doesn't owe you because you follow the rules."  There was more to it than that, but that part stuck out to me, and I remember sitting in the back of the auditorium, just had lost our baby, and crying.  I was crying because on one hand I felt like I was being punished for something and that's why our baby died and on the other hand I was mad at God because he took our baby after all I do for Him.

I truly played the older brother here...I was so selfish and so wrapped up in myself that I forgot to see the great things God was doing around me, and who was coming back that once had been lost, and I was not extending grace to all the poor pregnant ladies (all 20 of them!) at our church.  From that moment on I made a decision, I was still going to follow the rules, but I was going to do it because God calls me to do that, not because I am trying to earn points to cash in for a prize or a blessing.  Here is the important part that I forgot...
"His father said, 'Son, you don't understand. You're with me all the time, and everything that is mine is yours—but this is a wonderful time, and we had to celebrate. This brother of yours was dead, and he's alive! He was lost, and he's found!'" Luke 15:31-32 Msg

I know in the story this is the father talking to the son, but in my case this is God talking to me.  Now I am choosing to celebrate more and not take everything so seriously and to just be joyful.  This life is tough enough, who needs to feel angry, and like they got ripped off all of the time.  Not me, I have enough issues to deal with, like people who...just kidding :)

Tomorrow: Part 2- The Runaway 


Kristin said...

I can't wait to read the next part! I love to read about what God is doing. I just love hearing about what's on your heart.

Steph T. said...

We are so much alike...I felt like you were describing me...thanks for this. I needed it!!

Unknown said...

We did The Prodigal God (which is about the story of the prodigal son) in our Sunday School class and I got a lot from it.

sanjeet said...

I just love hearing about what's on your heart.
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