There was once a rich man who had two sons, Lawrence and Gordon. Gordon was the younger son, and Lawrence the older son. Lawrence was very conservative with his money, and rarely spent more than he had to, while Gordon could hardly keep money in his hands.
One day, Gordon wanted to go on a long trip with some friends. Unfortunately, he didn’t have any money to spend on a long trip, so he went to his Dad and said, “Dad, you and I both know you’re getting up there in years, and me and my brother both get an equal share of all your companies and stocks and money and… you get the picture. Why don’t you just give me my inheritance share now? In cash preferably…”
So the Father divided everything equally and gave half to Gordon and half to Lawrence. Lawrence immediately refused, saying he would take his share at the proper time. Gordon took all of his money, plus all of his possessions, and went on a long trip to a huge city on the other side of the country. He soon bought a huge mansion and settled down.
Things were always happening at Gordon’s place. Every night he threw huge, wild parties (I won’t even begin to mention what in all happened at them) that lasted until the morning hours began. He bought himself all kinds of stuff, from huge limos, to his own private jet, even his own private golf course!
This went on for several months, until his money ran out. He had never invested his money in anything, and he hadn’t gotten a job. “That’s OK,” Gordon thought, “I can just sell some of my stuff.” Sadly, he owed several huge loans, mortgages, down payments, and credit card bills. Soon, he lost everything, and became bankrupt.
He wandered for a few days out on the streets, lost, homeless, jobless, and without a penny to his name. After awhile he settled down again, inside a cardboard box in the city park. He begged for food and money, but no one gave anything to him. Most people just passed him by, though some would just laugh at him or kick him or sometimes spit on him. He had to resort eating the trash the people threw away and the bread people would throw to the birds.
He was sitting in his box one day when it dawned on him, “Hey, my Dad’s workers have food to eat, more than they need even, and I’m sitting here starving! I know just what to do, I’ll go home to Dad and say ‘Dad, I’ve done a lot of bad things, and I don’t deserve to be called your son anymore, so, please, just hire me as one of your workers’”. So he got up and began a long journey home.
Gordon was a good ways from his family’s house when his Dad saw him walking up the road. He instantly ran out to him and began hugging him, crying tears of joy and compassion. “My son, my son, you’re back, finally! You’re home son!”
“Dad,” Gordon began, trying to breathe through his Dad’s bear hugs, “Dad, I don’t deserve to be called your son. I’ve done terrible things, sinful things, things I won’t even mention. I treated you and countless other people badly. Please Dad, umm, Sir, if you could…”
“I will not hear of it!” His Dad replied. “Hey!” he began pulling Gordon toward the house, “Hey, my son’s back! Someone get him a tuxedo, my best one! And some shoes, some Italian ones! My son’s back everyone!”
That night, his Dad held a big ‘Welcome Home’ party. He invited all of their friends over and held a big feast, bigger than the Thanksgiving dinner they held last year.
Now Lawrence had been out working at the bank when Gordon came home. He had decided to get a job at one of his Father’s banks to earn some more money. He had earned a good deal of money and was well on his way to starting his own company. He had become rather proud of himself and his money-savvy skills. So he was heading back home when he saw a bunch of cars in front of their house and many people running about. He walked up to one of them and asked, “What’s going on here? Why are all these people here?”
The man replied, “You haven’t heard? Your brother’s back! Your Dad threw a big party for him and invited the whole town practically!”
When Lawrence heard this, he was furious. He wouldn’t even go in to say hi to his brother. He waited outside brooding until his Dad came out to him. “Lawrence, why aren’t you inside? Did you hear your brother’s back? Come on inside!”
Lawrence answered angrily, “Yes, I heard little Gordon’s back. So this is his party, huh?” His Dad nodded his head vigorously. “Well, how come he can go out, blow all of his money on worthless junk and get a big party when he comes crawling back, while I, who has always obeyed you and has never treated you bad, and has been very conservative with my money, don’t get anything?”
His Dad replied, “Lawrence, you’re always here, and everything I have is technically yours. It’s perfectly right to throw Gordon a party and be happy for him; because he was dead, and now he’s alive; he was lost, but now he is found.”