I was recently meditating and thinking about the prodigal son parable in the Bible. Like many, I’ve heard it since I was a child. But recently I read it differently and from another perspective. I’ve always thought it was just about coming back home but this is what jumped out and stood out differently.
“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!”
When he says he came to his senses and the English Standard Version says “came to himself” I was like WOW, I resonated with that.
How many times do we get ourselves in situations and I mean do crazy stuff as the prodigal son did? He spent all his money. Didn’t save for a rainy day. Went out shoveling pig poop because he was desperate. Was wallowing in the mess he made because he created it all by himself. And here we are just living day to day in our stuff. But then one day we just wake up and come to our senses and say “why am I doing this or living in this situation?” We realize we are much better and can do better.
That was the prodigal son. He came to himself and thought “what the world am I doing? I can go home and do better than this!” It’s the awakenings that happen when we are at the bottom. When we are in worse situations that most of the time we have created. It’s the grieving we bear over our mistakes. It’s the suffering that makes us come to our senses. It’s the pain that makes us come to ourselves.
If you are in a situation that you have created and it’s a mess, know that your pain and grief are not in vain. One day you will awaken and you will know that you can do better. You may look back and think why was I doing that when I had better opportunities all along. Don’t judge it, don’t feel guilt or shame. Allow the lesson and move on. Just know you are not alone. Life is just one big prodigal son lesson. We make mistakes, we get ourselves in messes, make bad decisions and choices but there is always hope. And they’ll always be somebody waiting for you so you may be kissed, robed, fed, and loved more than ever. Welcome home prodigal sons and daughters!