25th July 2016
He Took Your Place
25th July 2016

He Couldn’t Wait

A certain farmer had two sons. The younger of them couldn’t wait until his father died so that he could receive his inheritance. He demanded his share so his father divided the estate between his sons. The younger son quickly gathered together all that he had, as he couldn’t wait to get away from the farm, his father and the family. He couldn’t wait to get out into the big world, where the grass always seems to be greener. He couldn’t wait to be free of all responsibility. He couldn’t wait to be free to do as he pleased. He couldn’t wait to carouse with his friends, to live life to the full, a life free of all restrictions.

So, having received his inheritance, he set out to make a new life for himself, far away from home. However, it was not very long before he had squandered his money on reckless, unrestrained, loose living. He soon discovered to his cost that when the finances ran out, so too did his so-called friends. Then the food ran out, as the country to which he had travelled began to be affected by a great famine. In sheer desperation this young man, who was a Jew, approached a man who owned some pigs, and secured a job feeding his animals. Though his religion forbade any contact with pigs, this hungry, homeless, friendless wanderer eventually found himself not just feeding the pigs but sharing their food, eating what they were eating. Life was not so good now.

He now had plenty of time to reflect on his present situation and to bring to mind how good things had been back at home. He must have remembered how, not very long ago, he couldn’t wait to get away from his father’s house. Right now he couldn’t wait to get out of the pigsty. He couldn’t wait to go back to his father. There in the pigsty he came to his senses and said, ‘I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants’.1 As he made his journey home he must have wondered how he would be received. How would his father react when he saw him? What would he say to his foolish son? Would he rebuke or reject him?
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