The story about the prodigal son gets a lot of press. And it should –I mean, it’s a great story. The son runs off from a loving father, makes a mess of his life, and then finally comes home, expecting nothing in return — and lo and behold, instead of the condemnation he rightfully deserves, he gets a party. It’s beautiful, really.
But the other son — no one wants to talk about him. He’s been around this whole time. He never left. Did everything that was asked of him. And what does he get? Nothing, it what he acts like. His prodigal brother gets all the attention. It’s so unfair.
But, the father says to other son, he has everything. Think about it. The story begins with a man who was already wealthy and a son demand his portion of the inheritance at that time. The father gives the prodigal son the portion of the inheritance that belonged to him. At that time, the father is absolved of giving him anything else as inheritance. The prodigal wanted his inheritance, and he got it. And he left.
The other son stayed. The portion of the inheritance that was not his has already been given away. He got what was left.
Let me repeat that. He got what was left. Of an extremely wealthy enterprise that was still making a profit. All of that was going into the other son’s inheritance. Because he stayed and waited on it, he was going to be richer and more powerful than he could have ever been by cutting out early.
Don’t get me wrong. The prodigal son was still a son. He would never be cut out of his father’s life. But he had already spent his inheritance. As the father told the other son, everything that the lands and possession were producing for the father would go to the other son. He didn’t just have everything; he had more than he could have possibly planned for. “Set for life” doesn’t begin to describe it.
But he wanted a party.
He wanted the dancing and rejoicing and eating and drinking to be in his honor. Because it’s just not enough to have the prosperity of the world and more at your disposal if no one’s congratulating you on what a great job you did at not blowing your chance at it. If no one’s telling you how awesome you are for doing what you should have been doing, what you would logically want to be doing if you knew what was in store for you.
Sometimes, more than I care to admit, I have found myself commiserating with the other son. Because I am an idiot.
My Father has given me everything I could ever dream and more. I have immediate access to wealth, health, prosperity, peace, joy, and the ability to do more good and have the best relationships with people than I could ever imagine. It’s an entire kingdom of riches, and because it belongs to Him, and I stay with Him, it also belongs to me.
But I don’t care about the prosperity, or the power, or the people. Man, I just want to party.