As the Eldest—“As One of Your Servants-Part II” #addiction #prodigalson #forgiveness #whatstrending #hittingbottom #spiritualliving
June 16, 2015
Yesterday, we talked about the story of the Prodigal son, but I told the story as a modern-day one with the eldest child as a daughter, who stayed at home and worked for her wealthy, single mother at their burgeoning business; while the youngest, bisexual son ran off to squander his million on the world’s finest everything. The daughter comes home, one evening, from working late, to find that her mother is having a huge party for her long-lost brother, who had returned after three years with absolutely no communication.
The question for today was: What would you be thinking if you were the daughter?
Self-righteousness sneaks up on us without our knowledge of it existing, which makes it even harder to spot. If I were the daughter, I would feel absolutely correct in being angry at her mother for celebrating her irresponsible brother’s return with a huge party. The correct response for the mother would be to chastise the son and keep him from lavishness. Right? After all, the daughter had been beside her mother, wiping her tears, when years had gone by with no signs of her brother even being alive. Now this?
So, the first question I have to ask myself, if I were the sister would be a compassionate one, one that most of us, at this point, would completely forget about: What does my mother feel? Do I know how it would feel to be a mother who had lost her son to addiction or death? If so, how would I react?
You see, the reason why most people become self-righteous is because they have put aside their own wants and desire and are secretly jealous of those who make their dreams come true, even at the expense of others. To be compassionate of her mother’s feelings, would balance her own anger at her brother, almost immediately.
The daughter has a right to feel angry, but not vengeful. She also has a spiritual need to ask herself the important question: What am I missing here, and how do I get my feelings out of the way to learn a spiritual lesson? When the sister is able to ask those questions, perhaps, she will understand her mother’s point of view. She, still, may not like what she has to learn, but she will have balance in her mind and not keep resentment in her heart.
I had an experience, long ago, when I was a Pentecostal minister living in New York at the age of twenty-three. I used to (I know it’s a stretch to believe this) preach against homosexuality on the streets. Yes, I was one of those people who didn’t understand everyone’s right to his own belief, and I walked in self-righteousness almost daily. So, I understand this predicament.
One day, an old friend, actually a high-school friend, came to visit me in New York in the midst of my self-righteousness. When we were 16-17 years old, we had our first homosexual affair together. I still loved him from the bottom of my heart, but resisted all of those feelings. At this point in my friend’s life, he was completely okay with his homosexual lifestyle, while I was still hiding behind my own self-righteous, religious behavior.
I, however, was able to ask the important question of Spirit and of myself: Why am I so angry at Jim?
When I realized that I was jealous of him for being okay with his lifestyle, I knew I had to change my own point of view about life and about religion. My jealousy was causing me to create a larger barrier between my self-righteous life and the people I wanted to minister to. It was in that moment, I decided to release my ministerial position to find myself and my own ideas of religion. To simply accept what others had taught me about God would never be the correct choice for me, personally. I had to discover my own relationship with Spirit organically. And, that I did.
Tomorrow, I would like to discuss the position of the mother in the story!
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