So Close Yet So Far

#TreasuredTruth #146Of366 #RawderKidulaKedaha

I have four siblings; two brothers and two sisters. In my perspective, there was always something that stood out for all of them. Here is a summary, our firstborn stands out as a firstborn, the second born is my parent’s first son, the third born is the brains of the family, then there is me and the last born is a last born and last son. Growing up I felt like there’s something for everyone, I wasn’t depressed and isolated, we had great times together as siblings and my parents always gave us their best. However, as a teenager I struggled with identity issues, I needed a name, something that my relatives could talk about, something my dad could say as he introduced me to visitors, everyone had a special thing going on for them except me. The identity crisis led me to bad choices and rebellion which gave me a bad name. I was always close home, I went to a high school where my father taught and I was alone with my parents for so many seasons while my siblings were in school. That was a privilege I overlooked. Sometimes I thought the others who were away were more loved, they were given pocket money and were living large. Now I know better, it was actually not the case from their angle, in fact, to them, I was the last born daughter, and the position came with some privileges.

Now that I am all grown, and understand some of the privileges I took for granted, the moments I wasted in search for a bigger title and recognition, I am grateful to be the ‘unknown’ fourth born. Actually, I spent time looking at other peoples roles and privileges and forgot to count my own blessing. Take school for example, I wanted to be in big towns like my sisters, but ended up in a school located in the village, a walking distance from home. That means I could access my father any time, I could see my mother over the fence, any time, I could see my relatives going to church, I never cried because of fare, I always walked home and was probably the first one to arrive home on closing day. On the other hand, my sisters were disconnected from the family, one of them was never visited by my parents because she was in Nairobi, they needed fare to come home for holidays, they could not run to dad in case of any need. I did not see that as a child, I did not see that all I needed was right in front of me.

That is why I always call myself the other son. Remember the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32? Well, the story focuses more on the prodigal son, and everyone can see his wrong choices. Many times when one wanders away, we brand them as the prodigal son. We point fingers at them and condemn their actions, because they disobeyed and everyone knows how wayward they are. In your neighborhood right now it is so easy to point out the prodigal son, you don’t even need to know their name. But many represent the ‘other son’, hiding in religious acts yet their hearts are full of jealousy and resentment. These are hard to pinpoint in your neighborhood, because they seem to always do the right thing, the obedient ones who did not walk away with everything.

After expressing his bitterness, his father said to him “My son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours…” This means he had focused so much on the younger brother’s wrong doings, and forgotten the privilege he already had: The blessing that was right there in front of him. He came up of a list of things he had done, and wondered why the disobedient one was being celebrated instead of him. Even though he remained with his father and never disobeyed his orders, his heart was far away, covered with bitter resentment.

Many of us seem to be close to God, yet our hearts are harbouring other spirits. This makes us lose the focus on our own blessings and privileges. The father does not just celebrate when those who went away and wasted everything come back, even the other son is loved by the father, he only needs to know that he already has everything he needs. Stop working so hard to avoid being seen in the pigs pen yet there is another pigs pen eating you up slowly from within. Above everything know your worth in Christ, find your identity in Christ, all you need for today has already been provided.

Selah

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