When I was 5 years old, my mom apparently denied me of something my life depended on drastically and I wasn’t gonna stand for it. I don’t recall what it was but it must’ve been devastating because I knew I had to leave. I grabbed a suitcase, packed up my Underoos (Superhero underwear) and all of my Hot Wheels and headed out the front door. I’m told that Mom watched me leave, waved goodbye and wished me well. Even at 5 years old, I knew that no one was gonna deny me the life I wanted. No more rules, no more people telling me when to take a bath or to stop picking my nose. I’ll make my own bedtime, watch TV when I wanted, find a cute girl and be the king of Kindergarten as I lived the life other kids could only dream of.

What I didn’t plan on was the feeling of being… (gulp) alone. As I got further from home and time passed, I can imagine my 5 year old brain realizing, “Wait a minute; I don’t know how to cook. I can’t even reach the stove. Where will I even GET food? What if I get sick? What about when it gets dark and the bats try to bite my neck? What happens when all my Underoosare dirty?” (at 5 these are legit questions).

In The Dwelling Place at Cypress Point Community Church, we are talking about a similar story from Luke 15. It’s a popular story Jesus teaches, often called “The Prodigal Son”. The son decides he’s been denied the “good life” too long, takes his inheritance early (a slap in the face to his father) and hits the road. He does everything his heart had longed for with no rules and no limits. If you don’t know the story, he quickly realizes this came at a price and he now had nothing left. No money, no friends, no job, no clue what’s next. What seemed like true freedom quickly became a prison. He was alone, broke and broken and he longed for home.

One of my favorite parts of the story is when it says “He came to his senses…”. Sometimes we run, sometimes we rebel, sometimes we kick against the very God who offers peace, comfort and a home in Him. We decide we can manage our lives better and we’ll get everything our heart desires. But the reality is, when we leave the shelter of the Father, we often head down a road with unexpected and undesired twists and turns. A frightening road filled with neck-biting bats and dirty Underoos. It’s then that we “come to our senses” and begin to long for home, realizing what we’ve left behind. Sadly, sometimes that realization comes after the damage hasalready been done.

My journey from home as a 5 year-old wasn’t long-lived. I’m told that mom watched meevery step of the way as I walked around the house one time and then pounded on the front door as I arrived 3 minutes later. I was welcomed back in to an embrace, a “welcome home” and a warm bowl of Spaghetti-O’s waiting on the table. Have you been running from the Father to embrace a life that doesn’t seem to be embracing you back? Have you taken the reigns of your future from His hands only to find out you have no idea where you’re going? Are you like the son who was so hungry for something that he would feed himself on anything? If so, The Father waits. He waits to see your face, to see your return. He waits with open arms, a forgiving heart and a warm bowl of “Sketti-O’s” to celebrate. He says to you and to me, “Welcome home my child, welcome home!”  Luke 15:24 ” For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.”

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