..."But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. Luke 15:20
Sonja slowly pulled her car into the sidewalk and sat staring straight ahead for a few minutes. She gritted her teeth, and gripped the steering wheel with both hands, she was determined not to cry. But even as she held the wheel with all of her strength, she could not stop the tears from forcing themselves out of her eyelids and falling quickly down her cheeks. Before she could stop herself, she was bawling uncontrollably. After a good cry, she wiped her eyes and started to think of what actions she needed to take to ensure that she got back home safely.
At 17, Sonja thought she knew it all; she was smart, level headed and very independent. She was in College, had a part time job and had saved up enough money to buy her own car. As far as she was concerned, life was good.
She hated the fact that her parents were not particularly fond of the boy she had recently started dating. Based on information her parents had received, he was a smooth talking guy, who hung out with the wrong crowd, was into illegal business and could only bring Sonja nothing but trouble.
After yet another fight with her parents two nights ago, Sonja quickly packed some clothes in a duffel bag, and stormed out of the house declaring “I am never coming back, so don’t look for me” as her mom stood by crying.
Sonja knew exactly what she was going to do, she was going to go to her boyfriend’s house and stay there. She was going to continue to live her life exactly the way she wanted, without any interference from her over protective parents.
Sonja drove over to her boyfriend’s house and dialed his number. He answered on the first ring “hi babes, how are you.” “I’m outside” said Sonja, I had a nasty fight with my parents.” “Outside”, he sounded a bit startled, “Outside where”? “I am outside your house” Sonja said and started crying. Between her tears she explained to her boyfriend that she had packed a bag, and had moved out and she was not going back to her parents, since they disapproved of her relationship with him.
“I will be outside in 5 minutes”, he said and hung up the phone. Sonja was a bit surprised, she expected him to have already been at the door and welcoming her with open arms. She sat in the car for what seemed like eternity and then he appeared, he jumped into the car and said “let’s go get something to eat”. Sonja tried to explain that she was not hungry, she had a nasty headache and just needed to lie down. However, he insisted that they go driving since he needed to talk to her about something.
As they drove along, he explained to her that he was meaning to tell her that his ex- girlfriend had turned up on his doorsteps two nights ago with their two children, stating that she had to suddenly move from her apartment, and had nowhere to go. Because of the children, he had no choice but to take her in.
Sonja was confused, she could not believe what she was hearing, ex-girlfriend, two children, and he had never mentioned anything like that to her before. So now it was clear, she could not go to his house, because his ex-girlfriend and children were there. Slowly it started to make sense to Sonja, why he had always made excuses not to take her to his house, why sometimes when they were together and the phone kept ringing, he would have to leave, always giving her a flimsy excuse. It hit her like a ton of bricks, she was played for the fool.
“Get out of my car” Sonja screamed at him as she pulled the car over, “I don’t ever want to see you again”. He calmly jumped out of the car and without looking back, disappeared into the distance.
Sonja spent the next two days driving around in a daze, she was hungry, she was dirty, and she just wanted the warmth of her own comfortable bed, but she had made a choice, she was never going back home.
She decided that she was going to try to get to her grandparents’ home, and maybe stay there for a couple of weeks, until she decided on the next course of action. She plugged the address into her GPS and headed off. After driving for more than two hours and almost out of gas, she realized to her horror that at some point she had made a wrong turn, so now, she was nowhere any closer to her grandmother than she was when she started driving almost two hours ago.
Sonja picked up her phone; she knew exactly what she was going to do. She dialed her father’s number and he answered immediately, “Where are you Sonja? We have been worried sick, are you ok?” Between her tears Sonja managed to explain that she didn’t know where she was and all she wanted to do was to go home. Her father called 911, who called her number and before long, the police, arrived and drove her to the police station, within less than an hour, her parents arrived, and drove her safely home.
Sometimes, for different reasons, we too take wrong turns that throw us of course of the plan that God has for our lives, we make our own decisions, take matters into our own hands and want to run our own show. We become frustrated and disappointed when things don’t work out as planned and sometimes we are not able to find our way back on the right path.
The truth is, we can never find our way back by ourselves, and we can only do so with the help of a loving God, who even though we left Him, turned our backs on Him and headed in a next direction, has not stopped looking for us. Like the father in the story of the Prodigal son in Luke 15: 11-32, He already has our shoes, robe and ring in His hands. He has the servants on standby, waiting to prepare the feast, and every day, He is hoping that it would be the day when we would make a turn in the right direction.
“Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation…“ Make that turn today; cry out to your father, He is waiting for you with open arms. Don’t’ delay, make that right turn today.