The Dog and its Reflection….
It happened that a Dog had got a piece of meat and was carrying it home in his mouth to eat it in peace. Now on his way home he had to cross a plank lying across a running brook. As he crossed, he looked down and saw his own shadow reflected in the water beneath. Thinking it was another dog with another piece of meat, he made up his mind to have that also. So he made a snap at the shadow in the water, but as he opened his mouth the piece of meat fell out, dropped into the water and was never seen more. – Aesop Fables
The Story of the Lost Son
Then he said, “There was once a man who had two sons. The younger said to his father, ‘Father, I want right now what’s coming to me.’
“So the father divided the property between them. It wasn’t long before the younger son packed his bags and left for a distant country. There, undisciplined and dissipated, he wasted everything he had. After he had gone through all his money, there was a bad famine all through that country and he began to hurt. He signed on with a citizen there who assigned him to his fields to slop the pigs. He was so hungry he would have eaten the corncobs in the pig slop, but no one would give him any.
“That brought him to his senses. He said, ‘All those farmhands working for my father sit down to three meals a day, and here I am starving to death. I’m going back to my father. I’ll say to him, Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son. Take me on as a hired hand.’ He got right up and went home to his father.
“When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. The son started his speech: ‘Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son ever again.’
“But the father wasn’t listening. He was calling to the servants, ‘Quick. Bring a clean set of clothes and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then get a grain-fed heifer and roast it. We’re going to feast! We’re going to have a wonderful time! My son is here—given up for dead and now alive! Given up for lost and now found!’ And they began to have a wonderful time. – Luke 15:11-32 (The Message)
Many of you that know me know of my own experiences in taking a gift from God for granted and losing it. How often do we run through life squandering the possessions God has blessed us with only to look up and find that we have lost them. Sometimes these are “things” but most tragically they are people and relationships in our lives.
The saying goes that all relationships have seasons, but how often is it that the seasonal change is due in part to neglect on our end? How many times have we disrupted God’s “spring” and “summer” only to bring about a premature frost of ruin? Now with anything there is balance. Luckily when gifted with God’s Spirit we have the “ability” (and I say ability because that doesn’t mean that we’ll “use” it) to discern whether or not a season is meant to pass, or endure. Sometimes we find ourselves holding desperately on to a wintery nightmare when God is prompting us to let the healing winds of spring rush in.
I think we can all pinpoint a time in our lives where we find we are that “Dog” or “Prodigal Son”. The greatest gift we can give ourselves is to LEARN from our experiences in order to never repeat them, or at least see the same ones coming and run the other way. Hopefully with God’s unmerited favor and guidance we can in turn be used by Him in helping others not go through the painful journeys we have already endured.
Be careful what you think is “better” lest you are misled by the enemy into running after false shadows/curses only to end up losing the blessed possession, given by God, that you already have…
Be Forever Blessed,