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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Question (05/24/12)

TITLE: What Have You Been Waiting For
By Donna Howell


We've all heard the story of the prodigal son. As parents, we yearn to make things right for the wayward child in our lives. We agonize, we cry, we plead, and we beg. It seems all of our attention is focused on that one child who goes astray, and when they are no longer in our sights we grieve, we search, and we pray. We spend our lives trying to find our prodigal, and once we do, we are overjoyed and weak with relief. So much emotion poured into a prodigal. We will do anything to keep them from leaving us again. Bring in the fatted calf! Prepare the feast! We hope and pray our wayward child has learned a lesson. Home is much more inviting than the alternative. Our love for them brings more reward than the harshness of the streets. Many times, this works for a season, and then once again, they are gone from our lives. In the lives of our modern day prodigals, rarely does one come home ashamed and embarrassed, offering to be our servant. In fact, they are so thrilled with the attention lavished on them as a reward for their misdeeds, the cycle begins again. The story of the prodigal was included in scripture to show us how the love of our heavenly father encourages us to come home again, and again. No matter what you've done, forgiveness is yours. He loves us. No matter how much we love our prodigal, He loves us more. We cannot out love our God.

There is an oft skipped over part of that story. Our focus stays on the prodigal because we all tend to think of ourselves as prodigals at one time or another. We are thrilled that God will welcome us back with open arms. We are focused on ourselves. There is always another side to a coin, and another story to be told. There was another son in this story. Remember him? The one who stayed home, and worked hard for his father's love and respect. He also craved his father's attention. He just had a different plan. He earned it, yet he had become a little arrogant. He was more deserving of his father's praise, and he knew it. He was probably weary of his brother's antics long before he became a prodigal. His father could not see his attributes for his brothers attention seeking behavior. When his brother finally came home, all humble and apologetic, he was probably rolling his eyes in frustration. Especially when his father lavished him with all that love and attention. Scripture tells us he went to his father and indignantly asked why he had never been treated so royally? Why wasn't the fatted calf brought forth in his honor for all of his hard work and loyalty? His father's answer surprised him I'm sure. He said; "My son, you have always been with me. All that I have is yours." His father was telling him, you have never lacked for anything. Your good choices in life have rewarded you handsomely. You have always had me by your side as well as my love. The fatted calf and the feast was at your disposal, but you couldn't see beyond your own arrogance. What have you been waiting for? You must "receive" what is yours.

Luke 15: 22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’

The Bible NIV

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C D Swanson 05/31/12
Nicely done. This could be part of a sermon. A lot of meaning behind this piece. Thank you. God Bless~
Maria Kana Santos06/02/12
As older parents, we all have 'prodigals" at some stage in our lives. Don't we all sometimes in our "prodigal" attitudes towards our Father's teaching, instructions, rulings and love for us? I do. But bless our compassionate, gracious LORD that He delights in always forgiving and receiving us back when we humbly return to Him. Thank you for your piece. Good job! Blessings.
Norma-Anne Hough06/03/12
Good read. I am sure we have all at some time or other in our lives, been either the prodigal or the other brother.
Love the lessons we get from this parable.
I was a prodigal daughter for a long time until my gracious Father got my full attention. All praise and glory to Him. Thanks for a good read.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/05/12
You did a nice job of retelling this story and relating it to our children today. Though I'll admit I've tended to focus on the son who stayed at home. I could relate to being the good child. I think part of the truth in this story is both mess up big time. One runs off foolishly before he is ready while the other one pouts and feels sorry for himself. But the wonderful thing is the father still loved them both.

The only thing I might suggest is to have a third article that sums up the lovely points you made. Though their personalty differ vastly, the father still loved them both.

You do a nice job of writing on the topic and making the reader stop and think.
Mildred Sheldon06/06/12
You have done and outstanding job with retelling of the prodigal son. I truly enjoyed this very much. Thank you for sharing and God bless.