“I will get up, go to my father, and tell him I’m sorry. That I’m really, really sorry.”

Jason sighed deeply and slid down the wall to a seated position. He squeezed his eyes shut for a long moment. “But after I’ve spent my early inheritance on worldly pleasures – and worst, turned my back on him, why would he forgive me?”

Jason sat up straighter and almost smiled (the first time he’d felt like smiling in months). Talking to the empty liquor bottle in his hand, he said, “What if I go back home and ask Dad if I can sleep on the floor of the garage? I’ll eat whatever leftovers he’ll give me.” His stomach growled in agreement. “I’ll wash and wax his cars, mow the grass, clean the gutters, tend the garden, paint the house or do anything else he needs.”

Jason slung his backpack over his shoulder and took his first steps toward home.

Still a long way off, he could barely see the fence surrounding the house he’d once called home. He wiped the sweat from his eyes. In the distance, a man ran toward him.

As the gap closed, Jason recognized the familiar figure. “Whoa! Is that Dad? I’ve never seen him run so fast.” He stopped, struggling to make sense of what he saw. “He must be madder than I thought.” Jason turned to flee.

“Jason? Jason! Don’t turn away. Wait!”

Exhausted and desperate, he waited. As his father drew near, sweat poured from Jason’s brow. His heart pounded a fearful rhythm in his chest.

To Jason’s surprise, his father threw his arms around him, wrapping him in a crushing hug. “I’ve been waiting for you.”

Jason hesitated – but only for a moment. Burying his face in his father’s shoulder, he sobbed. “Dad, I’m so sorry.”

“I forgive you, my son. Come, let’s celebrate your return.”

(Based on Luke 15:11-24: The story of the prodigal son)

Is it time for you to rise up and go to your heavenly Father? Wouldn’t now be a good time to take that first step toward a closer relationship with God?

What’s holding you back? Your Father is waiting for you.

Sheryl H. Boldt is the author of the blog, www.TodayCanBeDifferent.net. Connect with her at SherylHBoldt@gmail.com.