I love bible stories and parables. And one of my earliest and favourites is the parable of the Prodigal Son.
One day, the prodigal son approached his father and demanded his portion of inheritance from the old man; the father obliged him. And the son left home for a faraway land. Soon enough, he had squandered his inheritance on riotous living and became broke, completely. And without any family to help, deserted by his new friends, he soon made his home in a pigsty and the remnants of pig food became his daily sustenance.
One day though, something happened. Within the prodigal son. In the words of the Bible, he “came to himself.” And he said the popular words: “I will arise, I will go to my father, and say unto him…”
The story of the prodigal son is a story of redemption. In the end, the son returned home, hoping to plead with his father to make him a servant, but the father, out of love, embraced his lost son, killed the fattened calf, and made a feast for him. This is a happy ending and people love such stories.
But there’s more to this story. Before redemption, before the prodigal son returned home, he did something – and it’s something we can, and must all do from time to time, to move our lives forward. He decided. He said “I WILL…”
The story of the prodigal son taught me that no matter how bad the situation, no matter how badly I must have messed up or how low I must have gone down, I can always find redemption if I want to. There’s no situation so bad that it cannot be redeemed. If I will not give up, I can and will find a way.
But I must first decide what I want and be willing to embark on the journey to a different life. There’s nothing for nothing! To get something, you must be willing to give something. For the prodigal son, it was first the decision to face his father, and then the pain of travelling the long distance back home with no money for transportation or refreshment. It couldn’t have been easy, but it was worth it.
If you want, you can also find your way to redemption from any unpleasant situation you may be in. But you must first decide that you will – that nothing will stop you this time around. And then you must decide to give it what it takes.
What are you going to give?