Just over three years ago I blogged about being thankful for the Parable of the Prodigal Son (you can read it here: Day 161 – Thankful for the Parable of the Prodigal son ). This evening at church the story was told again. I find it interesting how the same story can have so many levels and how it seems as if I start to “get” different levels at different times. Today I saw it through a different perspective and I’m thankful for it.
Sometimes it seems like The Big Guy Upstairs knows when there’s something I need to learn. Fortunately He also knows that I can be a little slow on the uptake so some messages get repeated over and over in various ways for me to finally “get.” Over the past couple of months there’s been a message that I’ve gotten through several different sources… forgiveness.
What really struck me today was just how forgiving the father was. As I mentioned a few years ago, there was no judgement, no anger, no bitterness, or anything like that. The father welcomed the son back with open arms and celebrated his return. He didn’t ask why the son did what he did. He didn’t ask what the son did. He asked no questions, he immediately forgave and took his son back in. The father shows how we should forgive.
Tonight our priest mixed in a very personal story I’d never heard before. The story was focused on forgiveness in a truly remarkable way. As awe inspiring as the story was it still took him 20 years to finally forgive the individual. I give him serious credit for forgiving the person in that short of a timespan. While I’d like to think I could forgive quickly I know myself better than that and know it is something I need to work on.
And that’s what I am most thankful for today. The Parable of the Prodigal Son coupled with the personal story from our priest push me to look at the gap between who I currently am versus the ideal version of me. I’m also thankful for both stories helping me see ways to work on closing that gap. Over the past couple of hours I’ve already had time thinking about those I hold grudges against of some sort or another. Tonight as I lay in bed I’ll spend time praying to the Big Guy for their happiness and success. In some cases it might be difficult and I’ll have to remember how the father so openly forgave without question, judgement or anger. It won’t fix things, but it should help me start to get myself on the right track.