The Prodigal Son. Most of us have heard the story. We can relate to the returning son. Finding his way home and running into the arms of forgiveness. We recognize the intent of this passage. Most of the time we stop right there, but there is more to the story. What about the other brother?
The other brother is revealed in the story as the eldest. The heir apparent, as we like to say. He's out working all day and returns home to find the household in an uproar. A party is in full swing and he is wondering what's going on. His brother is back. What? We pick up the story here. The elder brother is hopping mad and angrier than a hornets nest. Just as He did upon the return of the younger son, the Father goes out to meet the elder son. The elder son complained and found fault with his brother. He also complained and found fault with his Father. His Dad is just as loving, thoughtful and generous with him. 'Son, don't you know that all that I have is yours.'
Sometimes we can be so busy doing, hurrying around, feeling happy and content, until we suddenly realize we aren't. Sometimes we can expect one thing and when we get something else, we lose our perspective. Sometimes, we can be ungrateful for what we thought we ought to have, when we really haven't recognized what we already do have.
Yep. We can become disillusioned and jaded in our thinking. Jaded in our attitudes. We can begin to think of ourselves as better than or more entitled than someone else. What about me? Look at me! This isn't fair! When his angry attitude took over, he got a check from his Dad. Remember. Stop and remember. Everything I have is yours. I am always with you. His Dad is telling him that He loves and celebrates him too.
When we find ourselves complaining or maybe just a little too complacent, do we need to get a check? Sometimes we can see it quickly and sometimes we need that friend to come along and call us out. Maybe we need to vent in order to get rid of the angst, but we have to stop there. Stop before you wreck havoc around you. Stop and remember. God is a Good, Good Father. The best in the business. Remember that. Stop and remember. Remember the other brother, and check yourself. Check it before you wreck it.
Luke 15:31 The Voice
"The father replied, “My son, you are always with me, and all I have is yours."