There is a parable in the Bible about a family, that consisted of a father and two sons. One day the youngest son decides it is time to try it on his own.
So he goes to his father and asks for his share of the family fortune. Soon after he takes his “fortune” and heads out to a far country. It does not say how far away from the family this country was mind you, but it was far enough away for the father to worry as you will see later.
Now here is this young man, on his own, trying to live it up. And he did just that according to scripture. It says that he wasted all he had in riotous (unrestrained revelry, loose, and wanton) living. I am sure he enjoyed himself…until a famine came and he could not afford any food for himself.
It says he was so desperate that he became a servant to another. And as this man’s servant he was sent out to the fields to feed the pigs. While feeding the pigs he would fain (willingly and gladly) fill his belly with the same food the pigs were eating because no one would feed him.
Here is where it gets interesting……
It states that WHEN he came to himself (senses, if you will) that he decided to return home and ask his father for forgiveness, because even the hired servants he remembered always had food and never went hungry. As a matter of fact, it says that they would have enough to spare. I can just imagine his flashback memories of a table filled with food compared to the pig slop he was eating at the time he came to his senses.
So he starts on his journey home, I am sure with his head down, reflecting on his error in judgment…..
As the story goes, the father saw the son from a great distance. That to me means he was worried for his son and was looking for his return. Hence the fact that he saw him coming from a great distance.
It also says he had compassion and RAN to greet him, fell on his neck and kissed him. After their embrace the son asks his father for forgiveness, saying I have sinned against heaven, against our family, aagainst you and am no more worthy to be called your son. But his father surprises him by placing his finest robe on him, shoes on his feet and a ring on his finger.
They also had a huge party to celebrate his son returning home…for he was once lost to them but now is found…
I see so much of ME in this parable. I mean come on I was totally living riotously. Let’s take a look at the definition of riotous living.
Riotous~given to or marked by unrestrained revelry, loose or wanton.
Loose~lacking moral restraint or integrity and sexually promiscuous.
Wanton~without regard for what is right or religious conviction and sexually lawless.
I do believe that pretty much sums up most of my life. I was unrestrained in my alcohol consumption to the point of near death, on more than one occasion, and a lot of sex during that period in my life. I was totally lacking moral restraint or integrity.
I would have sex with anyone at anytime it was convenient for me. I knew it was wrong and did not care. I was just living life to what I thought was to the fullest.
It was a full life alright…full of heartache after heartache. The alcohol and hanging with friends did nothing really to satisfy the hole in my heart. It only showed me that “friends” like that are NOT real friends. Sex was ok at best though it was fun..but still that hole.
The years, spent not necessarily wasted but still…trying to find a bridge to reach my dad and have a real relationship. The years hiding my porn addiction and trying to find my sexual identity…man that was fun…NOT!
It was not until, like the son in the parable, I realized that there had to be something better. A memory of a life left behind. I turned and took that walk down the road with my head held down in shame. Only to have my Father speak my name. I answered.
I am not sure who ran the farthest to reach the other. But I do know I was the one who fell down and asked for forgiveness with tears of repentance and joy.
There was a party in Heaven in my honor that day as the angels sang and my Father, with a smile on his face, said my son was lost…but now is found.
He clothed me in righteousness that day….the best of robes! He gave me shoes for my feet to guide my path and protect my goings…His Word. My ring is in Heaven waiting for trip home. It is there that I want my treasure anyway not here on earth.
Allow me to ask you a question please…….
Can you relate to either story? If you have answered yes, then let me tell you there is a Father waiting for you as well. All you have to do is make the first move and run into His arms. Ask His forgiveness for the riotous lifestyle you lived. He will forgive you, pick you up, and set your feet on the right path. Promise you that one!
If you have questions about how to ask God for forgiveness please feel free to contact me at anytime email, Facebook, Twitter or here.