There is a lot we can learn from a nameless young man in the Bible who is famously known as the prodigal son according to the story in Luke Chapter 15.
What the young man did is not so uncommon. We are all prodigal. We all do or think of doing something crazy like that at one point or the other. I know many times I have felt like asking God to give me a break.
Those moments of impatience, restlessness, and the recklessness that follows. Sometimes, we walk away in a haste without counting the overall cost of the journey ahead.
Isolation, depletion, and exhaustion
Have you ever thought you had it all figured out only to find out you are running on empty? You thought you had enough in your spiritual tank to last you for a lifetime.
You got some of the goods, so all should be well, right? But you are separated from the Source, and a refill is impossible. What happens very quickly is depletion, malnourishment, and stagnation.
If there is no intervention, the descent continues further to demotion and servitude. This is when things get even more weird. This is where our man began to share meals with pigs. He was desperately scrambling for sustenance. By this time, he was completely out of options. He was in life-changing melt-down.
The right turn
Sometimes, it is easier to bounce back only after hitting rock bottom. The bottom is really a good place to self-reflect because all is still and quite there.
People sink deeper when they don't press pause at some point to reflect. It takes realisation and honesty to turn back when you are lost. But it takes some level of wisdom to know that it is safer to turn back than to keep going in a wrong direction.
By the time our man started sharing meals with pigs, he knew something had to change.
Return and restoration
The good news is that the young man didn't need to worry about what the father would do to him. He only needed to find his way back home. Restoration was already waiting for him. The father was eager to have him back. His life was more valuable to the father than anything else. The father placed greater value on his place in the family than whatever he had lost. A son that was counted as lost or dead was back home. That gladdened the heart of the father and was cause for a great celebration.
So, what now?
This story is not so much about the drama of running off with a share of the family estate. When it comes to relationship with God, there are just too many things (material and immaterial) that are pulling people away in different directions. It doesn't matter where you are in your own journey, there is hope. You may be feeling so lost right now, or maybe you think you have gone too far. There is certainly a way back home.
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