Drift Away

Apr 26, 2003 03:31 PM EDT

Luke 15:11-24 (NRSV)

Then Jesus said, "There was a man who had two sons. The younger ofthem said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of the propertythat will belong to me.' So he divided his property between them. Afew days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to adistant country, and there he squandered his property in dissoluteliving. When he had spent everything, a severe famine took placethroughout that country, and he began to be in need. So he went andhired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent himto his fields to feed the pigs. He would gladly have filled himselfwith the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything.But when he came to himself he said, 'How many of my father's hiredhands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! Iwill get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, "Father, Ihave sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to becalled your son; treat me like one of your hired hands."' So he setoff and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his fathersaw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms aroundhim and kissed him. Then the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinnedagainst heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called yourson.' But the father said to his slaves, 'Quickly, bring out arobe--the best one--and put it on him; put a ring on his finger andsandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let useat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again;he was lost and is found!' And they began to celebrate."

We must pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do notdrift away from it.

- Hebrews 2:1 (NRSV)

HAVE you ever found yourself drifting away from God? I remember as ayouth going with my family to the beach on vacation. My favoriteactivity was to get on my raft and float on the ocean. The problemfor my parents was that the ocean is not too friendly to floaters whodo not pay attention.

My parents would sit in a certain spot on the beach, and my dad wouldsay, "Son, keep your eyes on me. If you keep your eyes on me, you'llknow when you begin to drift away." But I would become distractedfrom looking at him, and I would drift away. The swim back wassometimes tiring and stressful. I regretted drifting so far fromwhere I was supposed to be.

Our spiritual journey sometimes parallels my experience with theocean. If we drift away from God, making our way back sometimes ishard and turbulent. If we focus on God as we move through life, wewill not drift away too far. And just as my dad would stand and wavehis arms for me to return, so our heavenly Father calls us back towhere we need and want to be.

Prayer: Lord, help us to stay focused on you. Amen.


Even as we drift, God calls to us to return.


Someone who needs to return to God

By Billy Wood, Georgia