What is really amazing to me, when I first read this, was that the author believes that our God DELIBERATELY chooses those of us have been habitual sinners for special attention rather than the "goody-two-shoes". That word deliberately really blew me away. It does not make sense. Of God's way of acting and behaving, we cannot make any sense of because it says in the scriptures, "His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts" [and I thank God for that].
Over the years I have observed, in families, how the mischievous child, the one who is always in and out of trouble, will forever claim a special place in a corner his/her mother's heart. The world may give up, the family may give up, society may give up on us, a church may give up, but a mother's love, which is just a manifestation, an incarnation, of God's love - NEVER gives up. Yes, the scriptures tell us, even if it were possible for a mother to forget the child of her womb, God cannot and will not ever forget. With His persistent safety-net, God is always recalculating what we need, not what we want, in the place where we both find ourselves. Wherever we go, wherever we stand, wherever we may be, we will always stand on Holy ground. The reality of the GPS is that His grace is always there for us. Reaching out and offering us the right and healthy way. We must continue to fine tune, the ears of our hearts, so that we can hear the oh so gentle voice guiding us safely home. Are we willing to stay there?
In the parable Jesus does not tell us whether the rebellious son ever stayed or not. We are never told whether he grew up to be like his prodigal father. We never learned whether the resentful son ever went into the celebration for his brother's return. We never learned whether the two sons ever became reconciled. [That reconciliation is a process that takes place which is taking place within each one of us right now.] Jesus, the wonderful teacher, rabbi, leaves us then with more questions than answers. That is why the spiritual life is always about the question not about the answer. Why? The answer leads to a new and deeper question. This process goes on and on and on....
Sometimes our regular gps systems cannot find a satellite connection and so we are stranded without any source of good direction. Because of the GPS system He provides, which is super-charged, the source of our “good orderly direction” always lies deep inside of us. It never fails, goes to sleep, loses power or ceases to function. It has, you could say, "a life guarantee". Our GPS not only provides us with good direction, but also provides us with life, light and strength for the journey. [On top of all of that, I am now sounding like a TV salesman, “It is free!".] No subscription to run out, no renewal notices in the mail, no late charges. It is all gift - paid for in advance. All we have to do is love ourselves enough to enjoy it. Being spiritual beings having a human experience, we will not always be either aware of or be prepared to listen to what our GPS is offering to us. That is why we need to remember that the power of the toxic trinity (guilt, fear & shame) is always determined to sabotage the GPS system. When the saboteur is effective in disrupting The System, we get into fear, isolation, loneliness, discouragement and the list goes on and on and on. It is so reassuring to know the recalculating love of our God is always there for us. There is great consolation in the words of the Hymn Hosea "Come back to me with all your heart, do not let fear keep us apart".
To bring about this return and reconciliation, the ever-present love of God, who is prodigal in His love, is offered to us so we can "live deeply our new life". This new life goes deeper and deeper and deeper. With each departure and the return of the rebellious son/daughter something wonder-ful happens. Through the mystery of grace, which is beyond our understanding, what the author of The Cloud of Unknowing has said above is happening and will continue to happen. The grace for the return will always be there. The persistent voice calling us precious, calling us beloved, calling us the apple of His eye, will always be operative within us. We can, unfortunately, harden or be hardened to the voice, but that does not change the commitment of the voice. It is up to you and I to open our hands, souls and minds to receive the gift.
"In religion there lurks the fear that we invented the story of God's love." Sabastian Moore
A Dreamer's Journey continues......