You've seen or heard the Motel 6 slogan, "We'll leave the light on for you."
I was thinking recently about two things.
One is just how often organized religion subverts an authentic, grace-filled life and the natural knowingness you have within of the Divine Presence. The other is that of the story Jesus told of the Prodigal Son. The moment the Prodigal began his journey home a most surprising thing happened - and it was the last thing he would have ever anticipated. His father came running out to meet him. Talk about a shattering of expectation. Conventional wisdom had dictated that this father, if he allowed his wayward son to return home at all, should only do so under the strictest of conditions. Curfews, proper behavior, respect for the family name, duty and responsibility--and, ironically, given the repentant heart of this son, he would have been more than willing to do anything the father demanded and more. But no, instead of duty, there would be a party.
Here's the spiritual stuff you should remember today as you journey on your way: no matter how far from your spiritual home you may feel...no matter how undeserving of grace or Presence you regard yourself to be...your Eternal Father (Mother) has left the porch light on for you. Better yet, he's (she's) ordered the dance band and caterers to make plans for a big homecoming. Religious critics like the elder brother...the self-appointed judges of your worthiness...who typically occupy pews might not like the fact that Dad (Mom) is planning your homecoming. But, don't let that stop you from returning to the wine and song.
There are many elder brothers whose egos cannot enjoy Dad's (Mom's) gracious heart because they're into score-keeping, complaining and whining when recognition for their "properness" isn't properly recognized. And, with ego, it never is. Makes me think, porch light or not, you can be at home, as the elder brother was,--that is inside the sacred walls itself--and yet, your heart be far from the Divine. They say in Judaism that "God has but one sanctuary...the heart." That's YOUR heart, my friend.
How could that not put a smile on your face?
So, with every smell of barbecue on the grill today...with every ad you hear on the radio or see on television or observe on billboards or your ipad...know that there is One who's left the light on for you. The party awaits your arrival. In fact, just make up you mind to return home and you might just find that the party has begun already.