Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Blessing of Being Taken For Granted

My Pastor preached an awesome message concerning Luke 15:11-32. Once again it was timely and needed in my life.

And he was so right. It seems when the story of the prodigal son is brought forth it is most certainly concerning that wayward son or his long suffering father. But he brought forth the one we don't really mention.

There was another son in this story who got up every morning and worked the fields, a son who obviously had been out in the fields still working when he came home to find a celebration under way for his long-lost sibling who had returned home.

This brother was always there, reliable, steady, uncelebrated. I probably would have reacted much the same way "You have never done this for me, and I've worked so hard and always been here for you."

I can imagine how he felt, after having plowed the fields, worked the land, cared for the livestock and all that they had. I can imagine how he felt taken for granted to have his brother who squandered his father's fortune return to a hero's welcome.

The father seemed perplexed by his reaction. "Son, thou art ever with me," he said. Then he said something so wonderfully interesting, he said "And all that I have is thine."

Sometimes in life it seems we give and give and give of ourselves until we feel like we give out. It begins to feel like no one notices and no one cares, like we are unappreciated. This is especially vivid when someone else steps into the picture. I must admit I had similar feelings this past summer when my sister came to visit. My parents still go on and on about everything she did for them and how wonderfully she took care of them (and she truly did).

But there's part of me that wants to say "What about me? What about how I take care of you and sacrifice for you? Do you even notice?"

Then I am reminded that I am here, for the good and the bad. I remember how hard it must be for my brother and my sister to be so far away and so helpless as my parents' health continues to decline. I remember what a blessing it is for me to be able to get in my car and drive the mile to their house and just look in on them.

There is a blessing in being taken for granted, in them knowing that I am here and that I will do whatever I can to help them. I don't expect a parade in my honor or for them to "kill the fatted calf." I have been able to share many meals with them over the years and I know I have been so blessed.

Lord, thank you for my Pastor, for his sensitivity, for his anointing. I can never express what it means to my life to have someone so in tune with You to lead and guide me. Thank You for sending a word just for me, for my heart. I have had some hard days, Lord, but You have never let me down. I need You every moment, every second of my life. You are the greatest part of who I am. I give You my heart, today, for always, for You know, I was once the prodigal, and You welcomed me home.

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