The teenager told his dad, i’m sick of always having to do what you say. I’m gonna run away and go where I can do what I want.
He found drugs, sex, and rock and roll and liked it. But a few months down the road he realized that if he kept this up, he would be living on the streets in less than a decade.
One day he and his friends happened to be passing through his dad’s home town. He was a little drunk and a little daring so he stopped by his dad’s house--just to see what would happen.
His father saw him walking up to the house and ran out to him with open arms. “I’m so glad you’ve come home! You look like hell but no matter what you’ve done, I’m just glad to have you home. You’re my son and I love you. I forgive you for running away and cursing me. We’ll throw a big party for you! c’mon inside! HEY EVERYBODY! MY DEAR SON CAME BACK!”
The boy stopped, slumped off his fathers arm and said, “Yo, dad. I just stopped by to see if anything’s changed.” He looked up at the big, beautiful house, and all the friends and his brother’s kids running around. He could see the shiny Harley in the driveway where someone had been washing it. “Would I have to cut my hair?” He tested his dad.
“Well, the hair really isn’t so important but you still can’t bring drugs or guns into the house. There’s better things in here than those.” The father hesitated. He had missed his son so much but the rules still applied. “Please, just trust me. This life is better than that one.”
“You don’t love me the way i am.” The son pushed his hair behind his ears and looked up at the beautiful house again. He stepped back and caught himself from falling over. He was still a little bit drunk.\
“I love you no matter what. But to live in my house you must want to give up the things that are holding you back. I know how to make you a happier and healthier life.”
The boy took one last look, felt the bag of weed in his pocket and spit into the grass. “You haven’t changed a bit," he said. "I still can’t do what I want here. Peace out, dad.” The boy turned around got back into the van with his friends and drove away.
Jesus has forgiven us, and maybe this means we are clean, whether we accept it or not. So then all of us would then be worthy of being in heaven, right? What, then, is keeping some of us out? Is it perhaps our own choice?
Maybe I want to do my own thing, even if I think it’s less healthy for me in the long run. Or maybe I think my choices will be better for me in the long run but my dad knows that I’ve been deceived into thinking that by cool music, and clever marketing.
When we get to heaven, what type of people will choose to enter, if it is a choice? How about a confident pastor who spent his whole career growing his mega-church to 100,000 people, even though God had told him to keep it small? Would he now all of a sudden decide to do what God wants? What about a mass murderer who after living a life of shame and emptiness realizes he had it all wrong, and desperately wants to know happiness? What about a Muslim woman who every day willingly submitted to the will of her overbearing husband and chose to love him anyways? Perhaps she is most ready to listen to God’s instructions (good ones) and love Him, when the truth is laid out before her. And what about Mother Theresa who spent her whole life trying to do what would make God happy. I think she probably ran to Jesus and finally fell into her lover’s arms, his scent and spirit fulfilling her, the consummation of a lifelong engagement.
So, hear this. You are forgiven and you can come into his house. He knows how to make you happy. But the catch is, you have to obey him and trust that his instructions will make you into a certain type of person- the uniquely beautiful, severely intelligent, infinitely loving being he made us to be. He should know how to do it. He’s been planning it since the world began.
Raw Spoon (from like 2013-ish)