“…when he came to himself.” Luke 15:17a ESV

It was time for Jill to come out of the shadows. She had spent far too long not being noticed and she didn’t like the thought that her pals looked on her as a goodie two shoes. She lived in a nice house, and her mum and dad were always good to her and treated her well. In fact, that was part of the problem. How can I shake off the ‘nice’ image so that I can be just like my friends. Then they would like me better and accept me. So Jill decided to change her set of pals from her church youth group friends, to her school friends who seemed to have a better time living life on or near the edge.

Her heart pounded the first time she went into a club. It was so easy even though she was underage. A little bell rung in her head but she ignored it. The group headed to the bar and Jill followed fully intending to have a soft drink, but what would they think of me if I did that? She decided to order the same as her friends but not drink it. That plan fell by the wayside. Another bell rung, but was ignored. The music was loud and before long she was on the floor gyrating to music that was far too loud, but her pals all seemed to be enjoying it. More bells rung and were ignored. It didn’t take too long before a nice looking young man came over to talk to her, and seeing that she was a bit tense, offered her a ‘perfectly legal’ pill to loosen her up. That way she would enjoy the rave even more. More bells, and by now getting even louder. They too were pushed aside. In no time at all, Jill was on her own. Where did her friends go? By now she was getting nervous, and more so when the same nice young man came along and invited her to leave the place early, and take a drive to an isolated and quiet spot to get to know each other better. Bells, lights, and a klaxon were blaring in Jill’s head by now, but what to do? In a short time it hit her. This was no way to live. Being so close to the edge of danger wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, so she gathered up her things and got out of there as fast as she could. She didn’t care where her friends were. At that point Jill had come to her senses and in the process learned a valuable lesson which would stay with her for life.

We don’t know what the Prodigal got into when he left home. We do know he was in the ‘far country’ which signifies a place far from God, and the Bible tells us that he wasted his life. It didn’t happen immediately, but like Jill, the Prodigal came to his senses. The only difference was the timing. If you are thinking of being a ‘prodigal’, or are one already, I trust and pray your senses kick in sooner rather than later. The longer you leave it, the deeper the ditch you dig. As for Jill? Her journey continues but she has learned one of the most valuable lessons she will ever face in her life. It’s a start, and a good one at that.


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