God doesn't hold blown chances against us

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Have you ever just blown it? You had a vision of what life could be, only to find out through painful experiences that it would not be. What was supposed to be so great was really just empty.

Now every day not only do you have to deal with the persistent "what if" and "if only" but actually have to face people who you've wronged to get what you thought was going to be the best. You also have to see those in the outer circle of friends, distant family and community who know what happened and are embarrassed for you, maybe ashamed of you and who isolate you.

Jesus tells the story of a father who had two sons. One day the youngest came to his father and demanded his inheritance. Inheritances are normally given when someone dies. Going to the father with this request, the son was symbolically asking for the father to sign his own death certificate.

But the boy had a vision where life was grand. He knew where he wanted to go. Getting there demanded a quick liquidation of everything he owned at a discount. A lifetime of labor sold off to the highest bidder.

Now far away from home for the first time he spends everything he has on everything he wants, both moral and immoral. To his surprise, the money runs out. And with the money goes not only the pleasure he was seeking but the basics of food and shelter as well. He has nothing.

He manages to find embarrassing work and meek out a starving existence. One day he remembers how gracious his father is even to the least important person who works on his estate. He decides to go home begging and pleading to be hired on.

Here's the perspective of the father. While the son has blown it and everyone knows it, the father just wants him back. He looks for him, he waits for him. When he sees him, he runs to him. He doesn't hire him on but restores him to the status of son.

While we, like the son, dwell on the emotion and embarrassment of blowing it. All the while God the Father just wants us back at home.

No matter how bad you've blown it God is looking for you, longing for you and wanting to restore you.

Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father, minister and writer. Read more from him at www.robhurtgen.wordpress.com.

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