Living in a Distant Country

Text: Luke 15:13
A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and travelled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. (NRSV)

There are many great lessons we can learn from reading Jesus’ parable that we have entitled “The Prodigal Son”.  As I was reading it verse by verse looking for thoughts for today’s devotion, the first thing that struck me is how much I am like the younger brother.  

If this parable is using the father in the story as a reference to God, which many think it is, then I certainly am living in a distant country.  I may not have purposefully traveled to this spot, but I have wound up living in a place that has vastly different rules than the Kingdom of God, my Father’s house.

If all I have, like in the parable, comes from my Father, I have certainly squandered quite a bit of it on living in ways that are inconsistent with God’s commands of loving God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength and loving neighbor as myself.  I most often choose myself over others.  I especially do so when I have no personal connection with the other.

I guess what I am saying is, I continue to receive the blessings of God, the bounty that God provides, and waste it on things that have nothing to do with God’s purpose for my life.  Instead of living out my purpose of receiving, returning, and giving God’s love, I squander what is God’s on pampering myself with the things that now fill my garage, basement, attic, and other rooms to the point of closing in on me.

How about you?  How are you using the resources that God has provided you?  Are you living by the rules of this distant country in which we find ourselves, or are you living like you are still in your Father’s house?

Pray with me:

God of love and God of generosity forgive me when I take what you have provided me and live like I don’t even know who you are.  Forgive me when I set myself up in a distant land and squander your gifts in ways that impoverish the world around me by not loving others as you have loved me.  AMEN.

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