Coming to our Senses

Text: Luke 15:17
But when he came to himself he said, “How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger!” (NRSV)

I’m not a big believer in the concept of God putting us through trauma and crisis in order to turn us around.  I know that there are many who do believe this.  And it may just be semantics because, what I do believe is that the natural result of us living outside of the will of God is to have consequences in our lives that are negative and often painful.  I believe that God uses these consequences in order to draw us into change.  I guess, the difference is only in whether the bad that happens to us is purposefully directed by God, or whether it is something we simply bring upon ourselves when we live lives that go against the will of God.  The results are the same; God seeks to get our attention through the crises of our lives.

I think that this is what is happening in Jesus’ parable at this point.  The younger son in the parable has waisted all that his father has given him.  He has used up his resources in ways that did not follow the purpose of his life to love God and love neighbor.  And now, he has no food to eat and no real way to obtain food that is healthy.  He is reduced to eating “pig slop”.  And then, we read that he “came to himself.”

I believe that this “coming to ourselves” is the result of God speaking to us through the Holy Spirit.  We finally realize that the way we have been living has directly resulted in our pain and suffering.  We finally realize that the “good life” is the life that is lived in God’s will and God’s way fulfilling the purpose God has always had for us; loving God and neighbor with the same love that God continually pours down upon us.

Where are you in the process of life?  Are you still at home with the Father?  Are you living out the purpose God has for your life, loving God and others?  Are you taking your life in your own hands and moving to a distant country?  Have you been living outside of God’s will for a while and starting to feel the pain of a life that is inconsistent with God’s purpose for you?  Have you come to your senses?

God’s unconditional love is always waiting for those who come to their senses and return home.

Pray with me:

God of love and God of patience thank you for waiting for me when I wander away and seek a life outside of your will.  Thank you for your never-failing love that is always calling me back, most especially through the pain I cause myself when living without you in my life.  AMEN.

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