By Ron Wood / guest columnist
The Meridian Star
I want to show you something about yourself. See if this is you. Whether you were aware of it or not, you were once under the protection of a very powerful father. He watched out for you, took care of you, and kept you safe even when you didn't know it.
This father was feared by his enemies so they would not dare harm you. Even those enemies who were jealous of you — they still could not approach you nor touch you.
But you grew up, you felt ready for independence. So you left his house, walked away from his rules, and began to run around with rebels. You thought, "If I can get with friends who feel like I do, I can behave like I want, and I'll be happy."
But there is a problem: you're not happy. You're miserable. You're lonely. You're broke. You're sick and you're tired. You're angry but don't even know why. You feel rejected and if you will admit it, you even feel afraid. Sometimes you feel forces pulling at you that you don't know how to resist. So you give in but you resent it when anyone tries to tell you that you are not doing right. You pretend to be happy but inside there is no real peace.
You say, "At least I'm not a hypocrite like some religious people at church." You may be right. I am sure you are a sincere sinner, not a phony. But let me ask you this: How has that been working for you?
Here is some news: you may have a choice. If you have come to the end of your road, then it is time to turn around. But if you insist on having your own way, then stay lost. Stay miserable, stay sour, and keep stewing in your own juices. You will eventually discover that you are not God; that you cannot create a better life just by willing it; and that living in rebellion is not any fun.
But remember this: watching over you, keeping you alive, waiting until you return, is a powerful father who loves you. He wants to clean you up, put new shoes and new clothes on you, give you a new ring, and throw a big party to celebrate your return.
So come to your senses. Choose to live under a good father's wise authority. You can choose to sit at his table. You can decide to work in the family business. You don't need to be a homeless drifter any longer.
Have you figured out that "the "father" I refer to is your Heavenly Father? You have an inheritance still waiting if you return to your Father's house. You don't have to sell your soul to sin any more.
Our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, suffered to redeem you because you are valuable. You are not an orphan, but a son. You are not a slave, but a child of a king.
In the Father's house you can discover your real purpose and be restored to your rightful place. Meanwhile your Father respects your unique right to decide so much, that he will never force you to repent. You are the only one who can make that happen.
Ron Wood is pastor at Trinity Assembly of God. Visit the church
website at www.trinitymeridian.com.