Friday, May 27, 2016

Awake in the Pigpen

Friday, May 27, 2016
Jesus told them this story:  “A man had two sons.  The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’  So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.  “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living.  About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve.  He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs.  The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him.  But no one gave him anything.  “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger!  I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.  Please take me on as a hired servant.”’    Luke 15:11b-19(NLT)
I was about 30 seconds out of seminary in 1983, sitting in the study of our first full time church.  I began to reflect on awakening in the pigpen of my life about 10 years prior, and the journey from pigpen to pastor.  I wrote down this little verse:
I can recall, O Lord, when first You called,
And how I dawdled, debated, and stalled.
          Come, child, You said;
 My way, I said;
So started this weary wanderer away from home.
Lord, I have strayed throughout the years,
And now I can see, through blur and sting of tears
Thy face, Thy loving smile;
Which beckoned all the while,
To welcome this weary wanderer home.
And now, Father, in spite of all I’ve done;
Could it be that there is still some
          Place of service, need for me,
          A life – love’s reality,
To warmly see this weary wanderer home?
I see my need so deep; yet deeper still
Is Your love….I draw from Your endless well.
          And life is giv’n; I need run no more;
          Except when, in serving Thee, 
          You show
This former weary wanderer a brand new home.[2]
Having been raised in a devout Christian home I wandered from the faith through my middle teens and twenties.  Awakening in the mess of a self-made pigpen of selfishness, greed, and the kind of unhappiness that not only makes you miserable, but draws everyone else around you into your downward spiral…well, to say the least, I knew there had to be a better way than mine to navigate the rough waters of life.
I’m a slow learner when it comes to admitting I’ve messed it up and need to change.  In short, I was, and sometimes still am, a prodigal son.
And aren’t we all?
And doesn’t the wandering always lead to the pigpen?

For You Today

Like a patient, loving father to the prodigal, Father God has a ring, sandals and royal robe waiting for you at the party.
You chew on that as you hit the Rocky Road today…have a blessed day!


[1] Title Image: By Sebastien Dusart, via Wikimedia Commons
[2] “Wandering” ©Russell Brownworth, April 1983

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