The Way Home
A lot of us are familiar with the story of the prodigal son, we know about his original lifestyle, his silly choice, his wastefulness, his choice to return home, his return, his father’s acceptance, and his new life. A part of his life we are not very much aware of is his journey from “the far country” to his father’s house. We are not conversant with the way home.
We are not given some specifics in this story, but we can make some educated guesses. Firstly, his father must be quite wealthy. Wealthy enough to be able to afford the kind of lifestyle we read about, wealthy enough to have his kids earn their own living within his company and wealthy enough to drive the younger son into jealousy.
Secondly, when the father heed the call of his son to split his wealth in two, this left the second son quite wealthy too. We can’t estimate his wealth, but I want to believe that if he had ridden around on his horses singing “thirty billion for the account ooo” he might not have been exaggerating.
Thirdly, having gone off to a distant land, it will have taken quite a while for his wealth to get exhausted. He was wealthy enough to continue to live at the same level he was used to. It was the new “level” that accountability to his father wouldn’t let him live that was what he wanted. He wanted to “ball” on a scale that will make him constantly on the front page of Ovation and Enconiom and People’s Digest. His bill at the end of the night at one of those pub would be the type that when it get leaked on Linda Ikeji’s blog or Instablog, it will trend and leave us arguing for the next two weeks if it is real or fake.
Finally, unless he was giving out his money en mass, it will have taken quite a while for him to exhaust his wealth. Also, his spending style will have built his “creditworthiness” to the bar owners and other places he frequents, so when his credit reserve was running low, he’ll still have been able to maintain his “balling” lifestyle for a while.
More importantly, a famine period worsens overtime, it doesn’t start out with its worst period. Long story short, Mr Big Baller could have spent as much as five years, if not up to ten years or more in the “far country”.
Do you know what happens in five to ten years? Look around Lagos or whichever city, state or village you are in, is this how it looked five or ten years ago?
If you lived at Ojodu Berger and your parents stay after Iyana Ipaja and you haven’t visited them in the last five years, if today you decide to drive to visit them and choose to drive through Pen Cinema, Agege, I am seventy-five percent sure you’ll miss your way somewhere there. And when you get to Iyana Ipaja itself, you will need a little time to familiarize yourself with the place again despite the presence of an obvious landmark there. The bridge.
Same with the prodigal son. After all this while, he decides to go back home, even if it’s to be a slave. Hungry, exhausted and famished he starts the journey along the way home. How many times do you think he missed his way? How many wrong turns do you think he took? How many times do you think he had to retrace his steps?
All we know is that he finally made his way home, the amount of steps including unnecessary and wasted steps, we don’t know how many of that he took. If he was lost again and again, if he stubbed his toe, stepped on a nail or thorn, if he stumbled and fell, all on his way home, we are not told, all we know is that he made his way home.
At what cost? Would this journey have been needed if he hadn’t made the needless first journey? What progress, growth and multiplication would he have made if he had stayed at home? What about the relationships he had lost? The skills and talents that have died from lack of practice? What about family?
Let us leave aside the possible outcome of his father rejecting and casting him out, because finally, he did make his way home, and his father received and restored him.
How many people are making the needless journey away from home? How many people are still out there “enjoying life” in the far country? How many have realized their fault and contemplating making the tedious journey home? How many have started the journey but have taken the wrong route? How many are on the way but tired from taking one wrong turn after the other? How many are just a few streets away from home but unaware where home is?
There is only one Way, Truth and Life, no one comes to the Father except by Him.
It’s good to be home; Welcome home. Come in.