Discovery and Recovery of one’s identity and purpose: Example of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-31)
Let us look at the story of the prodigal son in the gospel of Luke 15:11-31. The prodigal son was the son of a rich man who after persuading his father got his share of his father’s wealth and left to a distant country where he wasted the wealth in prodigal living. After he had wasted the whole wealth, suddenly there was famine in the land, he was in lack, hungry and lost his pride. He hired himself out to a citizen of that country who sent him to his field to tend his pigs.
Now, this is a job he would ordinarily not do. However, because has lost his identity, his pride, dignity and his integrity, he not only did the job but desired to eat the food meant for the pigs. Yet even this would not be conceded him. There are many people who are created to be champions but are frustrated today in the quality of life they are living either because they have not discovered who they are or have lost their identity. Their lives are full of miseries, pains, frustrations and rejections. Like the prodigal son, they take anything that comes their way, saying this is what life has offered me, forgetting that they have the power to decide what they want out of life and attracting it to themselves. Because they are ignorant of who they are, they gladly take from life whatever it offers them then go back to morn and lament.
When you lose your identity, your human dignity is gone, your insight is lost, your vision is blurred and you are fed with every kind of rubbish.
The prodigal son came to himself. To ‘come to himself’ means to discover himself, to come to the realization of whom he is, to recognize what he is made of and the inherent power and dignity he is carrying inside of him. For one to come to this point in life, it is not a sudden decision, it involves a serious reflection and self examination. The reflection triggers decision and the decision will bring about the change you want in your life.
When he discovered himself the prodigal son said “How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare and I perish here with hunger, I will rise and go to my father…” (Luke 15:17-18). There must be an action to give force to the decision. When he took decision to go back to his father, he actually arose. “And he arose and came to his father, but when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him” (Luke 15:20).
The singular action of going back to his father brought about total restoration in his life. His lost dignity and position were restored to him just because he discovered himself and traced back his steps.
BEN UJOATUONU– Motivational Speaker and Author of Success Secrets of the Rich now Exposed.