Darian peeked through the bars of the wrought iron gate and stared at the brick mansion in the distance. Trees lined the lane like sentinels protecting the property from outside forces. Fog hovered over the property. He placed his hand on his heart and glanced over his shoulder.

Was it too late to turn back?

Darian left his father’s tyrannical ways when he turned 16. Darian couldn’t take all the rules. The curfews, orders, and constant fighting wore on him like a relentless predator. Never giving up.

Hacking into his father’s account, Darian moved half of the estate into a separate bank account. One under a fictitious name.

Then he ran as far away as possible—cutting all ties. Even from his older brother.

Why hadn’t his father sent the police after him? Surely they could have tracked him down.

Darian left ten years ago with his head high. Today he returned with it hung in shame. He lost all the money with bad choices in the stock market, frivolous living, and stupid decisions.

He inhaled, smoothed out his worn jacket, and pushed the gate open. It creaked in annoyance. Shoving his hands in his pockets, he sauntered down the never-ending lane. As he neared the large mansion the front door opened. His father stepped out onto the veranda.

Darian stopped and held his breath.

Will he recognize me?

Within seconds his father smiled and opened his arms—wide.

Darian ran the rest of the way and fell into his father’s embrace. A thought raced through his mind.

It’s good to be home.

The story of the prodigal son is one that I’m sure everyone can relate to in some way or another. We’ve all run away from something or we’ve squandered precious moments of our lives doing something that perhaps we should have thought through longer. Perhaps we too have made stupid mistakes.

What can we learn from this prodigal son? Good and bad.

He was impatient. He couldn’t wait to inherit his father’s estate. He wanted everything and he wanted it now. Like this young man, we too get impatient. We try and rush our lives or we go ahead and make decisions without thinking them through or talking to our Father about them. How about we make a resolution for the coming year to wait upon Him?

He only cared about himself. This young man was selfish. He didn’t care about his father or brother. He wanted to get out into the world and live his life to the fullest. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with living life to full capacity, but don’t step over other people to do it. That’s not fair. Is there someone you need to apologize to? Show them you care today.

Now for the good.

He knew he made a mistake. After he squandered his money, the prodigal son hit rock bottom. He lived on the streets and thought about the pigs in his father’s yard. They ate better than him. He knew he’d been foolish. When I was younger I didn’t listen to my mother and rode my bike barefoot. Stupid, you say? I agree. I soon realized that when I tried to stop using my feet. Duh. Have you done something recently and realized it had been a mistake? Correct it.

He swallowed his pride and went home. That must have been a tough one. Can you imagine asking for everything, squandering it, and then returning home with your head hung in shame? Pride can get in the way of a lot of things—unnecessarily. At least this young man knew when to swallow his. Do you?

He apologized. He told his father he “wasn’t worthy to be his son.” Wow…if that isn’t an apology, I don’t know what is! It’s hard to say you’re sorry. It takes courage. Will you follow his lead and do the same? Is there someone in your life you need to have a heart-to-heart with?

There’s definitely a lot of good and bad to learn from the prodigal son. Is there something in the story you need to apply to your life today? I know there is for me. Something you need to change?

Do you make New Year’s resolutions only to turn around and break them? Let’s not make any this year and just come home. Back to our Savior where we belong. He loves us and wants us to live for Him. Let’s swallow our pride and do it.

Will you come home in 2013? Your Father awaits with arms open wide.

Do you have a prodigal son story you could share? Have you had to swallow your pride, admit you were wrong, and apologize? Share with us.

Luke 15:20 (NIV)

So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

Come Home by Meredith Andrews

This is a powerful song Meredith wrote about her brother. Listen to the words.

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P.S. Happy New Year!

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