“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him…” (Luke 15:20b NIV)
The father’s arms cross.
His face reddens.
His foot taps out an impatient tune.
His scowl lines harden into deep furrows as you approach.
Who wants to return to that?
Only a desperate person, a real loser in life who has no other alternatives. That’s who.
And the brazen bad boy in Jesus’s story finally falls so far he becomes my-current-life-really-sucks desperate enough to take that long trek home.
But many of us figure we need some polishing of the resume before we run (or take those slow steps) back to the ONE. We wait until we’ve overcome that addiction or bad habit or next challenge in life. We wait for that heroic moment when we can really show ourselves to be better people than we are.
After all, if our picture of the ONE looks anything like the cross-armed, foot-tapping, brows-furrowed angry dad described above, then we don’t want to return empty-handed. We best have a little something to put on the table to demonstrate we’re good people.
No way are we going home with nothing.
And if the ONE knows how we think and feel, why does He wait?
Whether He sees us returning from a distance and runs to us or stands with arms folded, the fact remains that He still waits and watches from the front porch.
He knows us.
…that we’ve had someone (or lots of someones) put the FEAR of Gah-awed in us. (I’d make FEAR wiggle and shake if I could ’cause that’d be cool. Did you read that Gah-awed with a southern bass voice in your head?)
…that we’ve got a muddled montage of Him.
…that we may spend way too much time in the smiting section of the Bible.
…that we also might spend way too much time reading Stephen King novels.
So why does the ONE wait?
Question: Why do you think the One waits for us to return to Him before He gets off the front porch?