Eagle Eye – Good News for March 14

14 03 2009

He saw me when I was still a long way off…

Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So to them Jesus addressed this parable.

“A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’ So the father divided the property between them. After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation. When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need. So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine. And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any.

Coming to his senses he thought, ‘How many of my father’s hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger. I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.'” So he got up and went back to his father.

While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ But his father ordered his servants, ‘Quickly, bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.’ Then the celebration began.

Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean. The servant said to him, ‘Your brother has returned
and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him. He said to his father in reply, ‘Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’ He said to him, ‘My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.'”

The Daily Path: I find it interesting that the parable of the Prodigal Son always resonated with me ever since hearing it for the first time as a young boy. Back then I didn’t know that it would become such a central theme in my later life. As I re-read the tale this morning, this passage stands out:

While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion.

About five years ago, I was still a very long way away from returning fully to God. But something was stirring inside me. I didn’t realize it at the time but I was searching for God. I can recall an important milestone on this quest. I was channel surfing and stopped on KQED, my local PBS television station. Dr. Wayne Dyer was giving one of his televised lectures on spirituality. This one focused on connecting to “source” (God). For some reason I couldn’t turn away. What started as a quick stop turned into perhaps the most important three-hours of my life. In those moments, God used Dr. Dyer to begin reconnecting with me. 

As I look back it’s now clear to me that this was the beginning of my active spiritual journey. Like the father in Jesus’ parable, God saw me way off in the distance. Knowing that at long last I wanted to return home, HE ran down the road to meet me. There is no question in my mind that all God needed was an opening in my heart, the smallest reason despite all that I had squandered, and He was off to begin escorting me home. 

Room to Chat: Are you heading home, too? Take a moment and reflect on the milestones of your own journey. Sometimes we don’t see them for what they are. You may have found this blog by random chance… or was it? God has an eagle eye and sees us when we can’t even see ourselves.