Jesus continued: ‘There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, “Father, give me my share of the estate.” So he divided his property between them. ‘Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. (NIV)
For many of us, there is always the sense that something better is somewhere else. The grass is greener in the distant fields. If satisfaction is to be had, then it is to be had elsewhere. Life will only yield its pleasures if we move on from where we are.
This is the attitude of the younger son at the beginning of this familiar parable of the Prodigal Son. He figures he can get more out of life by moving on. Something better is somewhere else. We know he comes to realise this is an illusion. What he most wanted and needed was right where he was: his Father’s love and presence. He found what he was looking for in the place he had once left. The green grass turned out to be the brown mud of Gentile pigsties.
We realise there are times to move on, to explore new opportunities, to widen our horizons. But before we do this, we need to make sure we are not missing out on what God has for us in the very place where we are now. It may be something good lies elsewhere. But it may be also that something good lies very close to home. The treasure we seek may be hidden right beneath our feet.