Where’s my party?

I had been feeling sorry for myself. This fact remained submerged in my subconscious until it was time to surface. Uncertainty about work and ministry had been simmering, so I knelt in prayer and even though my question was, “What do you want me to do here?” my heart was whining, “Where’s my party?” God always answers questions in a surprising way. His answer to me?

“You are the prodigal son’s big brother.”

“Um, thanks God, I think…”

In the parable (Luke 15:11-31) when the lost younger son returns from living a life of debauchery, there is a big party, and the big brother hears the festivity. So he moans to his dad, “Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.”

For much of my life, I was the lost son – which is bad – but now I was the older brother – which is worse. Yes, I had been obedient on the outside, but I began to feel like I deserved something in return for it, like I was gaining credit on my heaven account. This sensation makes every day feel like you are the one responsible for making the earth move, straining and heaving all you can upon that impossibly heavy orbit. My material supplies were drying up – so I was calling in the spiritual capital that I imagined I had accumulated. And the Lord delivered.

“My son,” the father said, “you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.”

I already have all I need, and the Father disciplines tenderly. It was shown to me that if I really want to have my party, I have to give more and just LET HIM. These heavenly resources allow me to live abundantly. I must learn to love like the Father.

Hug your wife and children more.

Smile and laugh.

Get on the floor and play trains.

Extend yourself and your heart more.

Give more.

Celebrate.

JHR

28 comments on “Where’s my party?

  1. Bird says:

    I have to admit I’ve always been a little mystified by this particular story. I mean, it does seem like the father kind of ignores the good son in celebrating the return of the wandering one. But, then, the older one didn’t have to eat out of a pig trough before he wised up, either. Thanks for this post. Would you mind if I re-blogged it? I would like my kids to see it.

    Let me know…Thanks!

    Bird

    • Vince Chough says:

      The older son represents those who put conditions or limits on the forgiving nature of our Father in heaven. No matter how much of a mess we make He forgives us. The self-righteous (=ME in this post) ARE ignored in a way because they don’t seek forgiveness.

      Yes, please re-blog if you like. Great getting to know you Bird. Many blessings to you and your family, Vince

  2. David Mills says:

    Reblogged this on Life Love God and commented:
    Such a profound question with a pure and simple answer. I am so thrilled to be able to share this!! Thanks Vince

  3. terry1954 says:

    love the pics you put in your story

  4. ansuyo says:

    Seems that we all have “what about me” syndrome at times. Angie

  5. I can relate. I had a similar conversation with God today. I’ve been looking for recognition from the secular world for my successes and creativity. The successes are glossed over but the character flaws and shortcomings are examined under a microscope.

    God’s answer: “Your external circumstances are a reflection of your internal process. You never give yourself credit, hoping others will give you recognition. You beat yourself up over the slightest things. Your external world is just a reflection of your internal reality. Bring your shortcomings to Me in repentance, then we can celebrate your achievements together.”

  6. Bird says:

    Reblogged this on Bird's Blog and commented:
    I’m reblogging this from Vince Chough — I love this!

  7. Margie says:

    What if every prodigal in the church met the older brother first before seeing the Father?

  8. This is so great and captures the reality that our attitudes need constant adjustment. We get out of alignment easier than the tires on a car driven by someone who always slams into curbs. Thanks for sharing this honest and enlightening story.

  9. I love your take on this! I used to think that the big brother got cheated too. One Sunday in our adult Sunday School class we were discussing this parable and I had and “ah ha” moment. The big brother was complaining that he wanted a party too…in the middle of a party. He was so consumed with his own self pity that he had no idea that a party was in full swing all around him. All he had to do was open his eyes and see it and enjoy it.
    How selfish to be invited to a party and then sit in the corner and sulk that we’re not the guest of honor. Our accomplishments may not get the praise we think they deserve in the timing that we think is appropriate. But in the mean time why not celebrate with those who are getting to let their star shine? If we put aside our petty and selfish desires and rejoice for our brothers and sisters in Christ who knows what joy will flow back to us.

    • Vince Chough says:

      I never thought of your angle either. Being a party pooper in the midst of a party. His Word is so rich. So many lessons for us. It is a blessing getting to know you Stephanie!

  10. Jason says:

    Vince,

    As I said in my post the other day, the challenge for me is to see myself as the prodigal son, at all times, so I am not in danger of thinking I deserve grace. For me, it is about a constant state of repentance, not just for past sins but also for present concupiscience, and knowledge that only by the grace of God, I am not sinning the worst sin that I could imagine, right now. As Amy Welborn says, in her description of the origin of the shortest of our Act of Contrition prayers that she describes in her book of Catholic Prayers, if we could say it 16,000 times a day, we might begin to experience the attitude that brings us close to perfection. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner…Amen! (That’s number two or three for me today – Long way to go!)

    Your blog is amazing…Thanks for sharing with us…

    • Vince Chough says:

      Jason – Great Spirit filled comment! I am uplifted every time I read your blog also. We seem to be on very similar spiritual wavelengths. All for His Glory, Vince

  11. Rachel says:

    Vince, God will give you the answers you need! Your blog is a blessing♥

    Rachel

  12. Cristal says:

    Why’d you have to rain on my parade? And blow out my pity party candles? 🙂

    Thanks for the reminder – this life is not my own.

  13. granbee says:

    I agree: it is often much more difficult to be the “good, elder brother”! I have played that role, with hidden resentments, far too often in my own life! Getting down on the floor and romping to make your very own party, right at the foot of His Throne, is a much better party, anyway!

  14. jamie says:

    Good news is…the father never abandoned either son!

    Jamie

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