Is It Ever Too Late?

The past few days I’ve read a number of articles…

To Little To Late - Eugene PetersonArticles about certain dangers that affect you in retirement (click here), or the financial decisions you’ll regret the rest of your life (click here), or the fact that it’s too late for Manziel, and in fact it’s over 3 years too late (click here).

Each of them contain warnings on making proper decisions sooner and watching out for bad decisions later. To all of this I wonder if it’s ever too late. Can you ever bounce back? Can you ever come back to the place you wish you had never left from?

In fact, I keep thinking about the stupid mistakes we all make that we keep kicking ourselves over and over again. Why? Can you ever make things right? You can agonize over the past and do nothing about it, and that’s just as dangerous of never taking appropriate steps to try and recover.

You may never make it all the way back to where you once were, but you can turn back the right direction and get a do over. In Golf, I think they call it a mulligan.

The story is told about a young man who had the right of inheritance coming to him. Maybe it was a cultural thing and he had the right to get it early, or maybe his time came and he boldly asked his father for what was rightfully his. Regardless, he immediately left home and blew his advantage by wild living and uncontrollable spending.

After a while of living as close to desolation as one could imagine, he decided he would return home and maybe his father would allow him to live as a servant. That would make him happy. No more respected as a son, but as a hireling. Receive a salary. Live a lower estate, but at least happy and alive.

But when his father saw him coming home, he ran to his son while he was a far off. “Let’s have a party! My son has come home.”

Can you imagine the tears of joy that flowed down that son’s face, intermixed with tears of remorse and regret? He could have been rejected by his father, and it would probably be the father’s right to kick him to the curb. But as a father, I can imagine the tears the father shed that were easily equal to the tears of the son.

The son could only come back when the father accepted him. Even when the brother could not. But that doesn’t matter. It only matters that the father accepts him, even when the older brother struggles with the actions. Who matters? The father.

Think. It must have been equally difficult for the father. His son had rejected him, taken the hard earned inheritance and wasted it, and then lived off the grid. When he decides to accept the son home, there must have been some qualms. Will it ever happen again?

Read the story for yourself. (Luke 15:11-32) When you read between the lines you comprehend all the portions of the stories at play. I’m on the side of the father. But the reality is, the actions of that lost son set the stage. He awakes from his mistakes, converses with himself, and makes a decision to return.

I realize this is a parable with varied application… I will share several other God given viewpoints over the next few days…

Here’s the bottom line. I don’t think many ever come back to their previous “glory”, but they do have the ability to get back into a better place when they have the Father on their side.