Pastor’ Blog “Wasteful or Grateful?” October 8, 2017
On this Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, I turn to the story of the Prodigal Son from Luke 15. A thanksgiving story you ask?
Prodigal means wasteful not wayward. The son who left was oblivious to the provision and love of his father. Because he was not grateful, he failed to see what his father had done for him. The blessings of the father became his right to own: “Give me” he demanded. What an ingrate. By his demand to have his inheritance while the father still lived, he was in fact saying “I wish you were dead!”
We get a glimpse of the character of his father. He gave freely. He released his son to learn the hard way. And learn the son did. After burning through the money, he woke up in a pig sty, much poorer in and earthly sense but much richer in a spiritual sense. He returned to the mercy and love of the father. He changed his tune from “Give me” to “Make me as one of your servants…I am not worthy”. He went from wasteful to grateful.
What about the other dutiful son, you know, the oldest? In his own way, he was prodigal, too. He didn’t get what the father had done for him, either. Because of his attitude and lack of understanding, he wasted the riches of the relationship the father had to offer. He, too, was blinded by his lack of being grateful: grateful for a loving father.
We know of the end of the first son: because of his gratefulness, relationship was restored.
The jury is out on the end of the second son: did he come to understand the love of the father? Did he learn to see all the things for which he could be grateful? We don’t know.
How about you? How about me? Am I wasteful or grateful? A grateful heart will see and acknowledge the love and provision of our Father in Heaven. A grateful heart creates possibilities to enjoy what we do have instead of whining about what we don’t have.