In Jesus' parable of the prodigal son, there is a loving father waiting anxiously for the son to return home.
This is how I picture God looking and even longing for us day in and day out. Standing with eager anticipation of His children returning to Him with a broken and contrite heart. And even though I know deep down that God never turns away a broken and contrite heart, I constantly find it hard to next to impossible to make that first step back towards the Father when I have strayed.
I don't know about you, but I constantly fail and constantly stray much like the prodigal. It may not be as dramatic and it may not be as visible to the world, but my heart has a tendency to wander.
Oftentimes it wanders into busy-ness and good deeds. I can get so busy for God that I forget that He wants my heart and my companionship above all service.
Sometimes it wanders into complacency and boredom. The 'same old, same old' becomes the standard of the day and I go through the motions looking good on the outside but dry and barren on the inside.
More often, it wanders into pride and self-sufficiency when my heart tells me to trust in my own understanding and abilities.
So how do we continually walk in a way that we carry this broken and contrite heart? Richard Foster says,...
"We begin by asking. I wish that did not sound so trite, for it is the deepest truth we can ever know about our turning towards God. We simply cannot make heart repentance happen. It is not something that we cause to come about by creating a certain kind of mood with a certain kind of atmosphere and a certain kind of music. It is a gift from God, pure and simple. But it is a gift that God loves to bestow upon all who ask."
Lord, please grant to me today a broken and contrite heart. May all of my senses be in tune with You. And may I have the courage to take the first step back home to you like the prodigal that I am.