I went back to running in the forest the next Saturday, and the next. This was the third one. The ten-mile Saturday morning run started with the one-hour forty-four minutes Elevation Worship and Maverick City Music Old Church Basement album plugged on my JBL headphones.
You think about so many things when you are running. You think about life, you think about why you are “torturing” yourself in the chill of a Saturday morning, mouth dry, muscles aching, eyes blurry, lungs overworked, sweat running down your spine like water yet your peers are in their beds or couches with warm duvets and black coffees perhaps.
You think about that girl you love; you wonder if she’s gone hiking or something, you wonder if she’s thinking about you or if you should just leave her alone. You think about the alphabet, your mind gets stuck on M, maybe because your middle name is Michael or maybe because you’re running on God’s mercy. Whether that’s the only reason or not, it’s a story for another day.
On your fifth mile, Naomi Raine is in your head singing I could get used to this and at this point, you start to wonder if you could actually get used to this, to this morning run. Up the steep terrain, you meet this young man who is about your age running in step with an older man whom you later discover it is father and son and your mind just explodes.
You see, the man I grew up calling dad was not really a bad guy as such but he ‘never had money on him and whenever he spent the little that he did, it would pain him so much that I learnt to be content not asking for nothing.
The parable of the prodigal son or the lost son as it is referred to at times has been referenced so many times by different writers and speakers. Erroneously many people think prodigal is synonymous with lost. Prodigal is an adjective meaning, too willing to spend money. It is synonymous with extravagant, unsparing, lavish and generous.
Unlike most of our earthly fathers or father figures for that matter who can be stingy, the prodigal father (who is a picture of our heavenly father) is one of a kind. After the lastborn son has squandered his inheritance, he comes back home and instead of being reprimanded, his father puts the finest robe on him, puts a ring on his finger, sandals on his feet, slaughters a fattened calf and throws him a party.
What do you need child of God? How far have you wandered away in this walk of life? What’s breaking your heart? What’s causing you sleepless nights? What are you thinking about? Listen, go back home. We have a father whose arms are always wide open to receive us. As my friend Bolaji puts it in her intriguing and emotional article The Time God Failed Me, “I was legit like a toxic wife, but He took it with grace. Not once did He grumble or mumble. He kept showing me a love so reckless and without conditions. A father who is always too willing to take you back”
Our God is a God whose promise is sure, whose light is matchless, whose goodness is limitless, whose mercy is everlasting, whose love never changes, whose word is enough and whose grace is sufficient. Our father is the superlative of every good thing you’d ever need and he ain’t stingy. God is extravagant in how he dispenses his love.
His reckless love cares not how many times we break his heart; all He cares about is that you come back home. His love is selfless, the kind that bankrupted heaven for you, the kind that cost Him His son.
He is intentional in giving us and giving us in abundance because
Child of God; He is The Prodigal Father