We have been baptized into God’s family. We have all of the love and benefits of being in God’s family. Yet, we still must try to live our lives our way - in rebellion to God’s will for our lives. When we turn away from God, what happens to the love and other gifts God has given us? They waste away in our sin. We can become spiritually bankrupt; and like the prodigal son, we can realize that anything with God is better. We may be sincere in our repentance of acts against God’s love and goodness; or, we may be sorry because of the bad consequence of our actions. God in His mercy will meet us where we are at. The parable does not say where the father met up with the son, only that he saw the son “a long way off” and ran to him.
What if we don’t make it back to God before we die? What would have happened if the prodigal son didn’t make it home? The son made the choice to return. The father did the rest. So, what if on our faith journey we die before we are home yet? Are we crying out in our hearts, our souls, “Abba”? I think that that soul will continue towards God and that God in His mercy will embrace the soul.
But, why wait? Why continue to live outside the Father’s house, just because we have the freedom to live “our way”? The father said to the son who never left, “Everything I have is yours.” Why squander our lives living away from our Father when He has so much to give us? The Father is waiting for us to cry, “Abba.” It is so simple - take the first step and allow God to do the rest.