It’s a familiar story. The prodigal son takes his inheritance, leaves home, squanders everything, gets a job feeding pigs while he’s starving, realizes his mistake, goes back home to work as a servant, but is welcomed by his father with love and celebration (Luke 15:11-32).
But the story doesn’t tell us what happens to the prodigal on his way home. I imagine how hard it must have been to get home, not just emotionally and mentally, but also physically and financially. This man was starving in a distant country suffering from famine. He might have had very little money from his job feeding pigs, but I doubt it was enough to sustain him in his journey home.
How did he get home? Maybe he walked or hitched a ride. Maybe he got a job with a caravan, cleaning and feeding the camels, in exchange for food and travelling with them. Were there times he traveled alone? How did he protect himself? What did he do for food?
Of course, it’s just a parable. A story that tells a lesson, not a story about true events…as far as we know. I mean, Jesus is God and is all knowing, so who knows if there really was a prodigal son 😛
But wondering about how hard it was for the prodigal son to get back home got me thinking about my journey back to passion. It wasn’t easy either, and the main reason was because I had to learn how to trust again so I can reconnect with others and with God.
When we fall away from something or someone, it may not be easy to come back. I’m not talking about losing touch with a friend, but when you meet up, it’s like you just met yesterday. I have those friendships. I know the difference between that kind of losing touch and the kind where you meet up and it’s awkward all day and all night. Like going to your high school reunion and seeing familiar faces but having no clue what to say and wishing for the night to end.
If you’ve lost passion for faith or you’re just lost, I want to encourage you to keep making your way home. Like the prodigal’s father, God is waiting for us to return to Him. That is the lesson of that story. No matter how much we’ve messed up, if we sincerely return to God, He’ll welcome us back as His children. No questions asked. No probationary period. No offenses to make up for with x-amount of pious deeds.
Here’s what I learned on my own prodigal road home. As I was trying to reclaim passion (for faith, life, God, people), God was and has always been passionate about me.