There was once man who had two sons. The younger went up to him one day and said “Hey, dad, don’t take this personally but, you know the inheritance that I would get when you’re dead? Well, I would like to have it now.”
Now, in the culture this family was in, that was unheard of. As I am sure you think, this son is rude and very disrespectful. I agree. Back to the story.
After hearing this, the dad did just that. WIthin days, the boy packed his bags and headed out. Not just down the road, the boy left the country! This disrespectful, ungrateful kid took his inheritance and gambled it away. Wasted his dad’s entire life’s work. Well, at least half of it. While this kid had money, he had friends, ladies, and all the comforts one could ask for. In a moment, they were all gone.
At the same time the kid’s money was gone, the economy collapsed. Jobs were scarce. The kid began to truly feel what it was like to starve. Suddenly thoughts of the food that was placed on his dad’s table raced through his mind. He quickly shook the thought, knowing that he could never return home. Not after what he did. Not after how he treated his dad. “Home, sweet home” just didn’t exist anymore. He was on his own for good.
After countless rejections and returned applications, the kid found a job out in the country working with a pig farmer. This was the lowliest of low. White collar, heir to millions, feeder of pigs. The boy, making hardly enough to stay alive, was so hungry, he knelt down to share in the bounty of slop the pigs ate. Yet, his boss wouldn’t allow it and kept a close eye.
Exhausted, starving and covered with pig mess, the kid came to his senses. He figured all of his dad’s farmhands at least had a decent place to live and were, by no means, starving. The kid began to work on his apology.
To give you an idea, in this kid’s culture, his dad could legally have him killed for his disrespect. This apology had to be REALLY good.
“Dad, hi. It’s been a long… No, to casual.”
“My dearest father. Amongst my wondering… what?”
“I got it!”
“Dad, I have messed up in God’s eyes and yours. I don’t even deserve to be called your son. I merely wish you would hire me as one of your farmhands.”
With him replaying the scenario over and over, trying to get his apology perfect, the kid heads back home.
Back in the city that the kid lived in, yet still a very long way from home, the kid sees something in the distance. Someone. Heading very quickly to him. It was his dad! His dad saw him and started sprinting over to him. (Something a man of his rank and position in the community would not do).
Once the dad reached his son, he began to hug him and kiss him! The boy proceeded to his meager attempt to apologize, but kept being interrupted by his dad’s shouts of joy and his kisses.
“Dad, I messed up big time. I” (SMOOCH). “I don’t deser- (SMOOCH) -ve to be called your (SMOOCH) son.” (SMOOCH) “Please just (SMOOCH) hire me as a (SMOOCH) farmhand.” (SMOOCH) (SMOOCH) (SMOOCH)
His dad didn’t waste anytime listening to the sons apology. As if the son deserved to be his son in the first place. He was son by birth. By no action or deed did the son earn his sonship. He was born, that’s all.
The dad called for his butler and maids. “Quick,” the father exclaimed. “Bring clean clothes, dress him! Put the family ring back on his hand! Put shoes on his feet! Once you’re done with that, get the best heifer we have, kill it and cook it! We are having a party! My son that I thought was dead is alive. He was lost but is now found!” And the party began.
Enter the second son, who had just finished another long hard day out in the field. What does he hear as draws closer to the house? Music and dancing. He called to one of the servants and asked what was going on. The servant informed him about the return of his brother and what he was hearing was the party in his brothers honor. Unlike the dad, the older brother was not as excited.
That’s an understatement, he was livid! The dad came out and tried talking to his son. The son, indignant, exclaimed how faithful he has been and what his disrespectful little brother deserved, which was nothing close to a party.
The dad gently explained, ‘Son, try to understand. You are always with me and everything I have is yours. Be glad. This is a wonderful time. Your brother was dead and is alive! He was lost and now he is found!”
The younger son never got what he deserved. He didn’t do anything to earn his sonship nor his dad’s extravagant forgiveness. It was solely up to his dad.
In the next two blogs, I will be sharing two other stories of things undeserved. I’ll see you next Tuesday!