by Sandy Kirby Quandt
Buckshot, our Beagle/Black Lab mix was just a prodigal puppy when he dug under the fence in our backyard for the first and only time. Even though I looked through the yard for him, it wasn’t until I called his name that I heard his whimper, saw the freshly dug hole under the fence, and knew where he’d escaped to.
When I found Buckshot, his back was pressed against the outside of our fence, his head was tilted upward, and his pitiful howl pierced the silence. Caught in the brambles, Buckshot was trapped and unable to come to me. He watched as I made my way through the thorns to reach him. Once I held my puppy in my arms, he ceased his cries, relaxed his body, and snuggled close.
Buckshot wanted his freedom. He wanted to leave the confines of our yard. He wanted to explore what was on the other side of our fence. Unaware of the brambles and thorns that waited for him outside the safety of our yard, Buckshot wanted to experience the world beyond our fence on his own. Once he managed to escape, unable to figure out how to undo what he’d done, Buckshot found himself in a sticky situation he couldn’t remedy on his own. Much like the prodigal son in the parable Jesus told, things didn’t work out the way Buckshot planned.
The parable of the Prodigal Son in the Gospels speaks of someone with a similar mindset as Buckshot. This son wanted to escape the confines of life with his father and brother. He wanted to explore the world on the other side of the land. Although the prospect of a different life seemed appealing at first, the son who left was not prepared for the brambles and thorns that entangled him. In his distress the prodigal cried out, realized his mistake in leaving, and returned home to his waiting father.
Perhaps, like Buckshot and the Prodigal Son, we want our freedom from the confines of the perimeters God set for us in the Bible describing how we are to live. Perhaps we feel constricted, and long to explore what is on the other side of the fence that surrounds us. We may even run away from God, but in our leaving, we run into brambles and thorns that snarl and entangle us. In our distress we cry out. And the Father who never stopped searching for us, hears our cries, comes to where we are, wraps us in his loving arms, and tells us how much we were missed, and how glad he is we are found.
Whenever we feel like leaving, perhaps we need to remember the thorns and brambles that await us.
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Where could I go to escape from you? Where could I get away from your presence? Psalm 139:7 (GNT)
I wish you well.
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