The Prodigal Son(an epilogue)

For those familiar with the parable of The Prodigal Son 

  • The younger of two sons asks for his inheritance, he gets it, he blows it, 
  • Desolate, he returns, begging for a servents position in his fathers house. 
  • Father welcomes him, kills the fatted calf in celebration of his return.
  • Elder son bitter at the younger, is reminded  by the Father that The eldest will still get his inheritance and to just be happy of his return. 

Irresponsibility, gluttony, lust, redemption, jealousy,  unconditional love, and forgiveness. All the makings of a great parable.  

    The Return of the Prodigal Son (1773) by Pompeo Batoni
    There is an implication that the father was wise in emulating God’s unconditional Love for HIS children. If there is a parallel of the father and God, would God have coddled his son by giving him the inheritance? If we saw similar behavior today wouldn’t the younger son appear to be nothing more than a spoiled rich kid ? 
    An often overlooked part of the story is the humility shown by the youngest son upon his return. If I were to add to the story, perhaps the Father realizes his mistake in coddling his youngest, learning that he also is not perfect. As a father of 5, I look back to my father figures and I must admit, some of the most profound lessons learned weren’t always what they did right but rather from their many mistakes. Here is to my children learning from mine. 

    Peace.-Goroyboy 

    The Scorpion and the Frog(Its in my “Nurture”)

    A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asks, “How do I know you won’t sting me?” The scorpion says, “Because if I do, I will die too.”

     

    The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream,the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown,but has just enough time to gasp “Why?” Replies the scorpion: “Its my nature”.  –Aesop Fable

    As the scorpion can be evil in nature, so to is the nature of men. Fortunately we have the benefit of nurture.  Right? But hold on. As we think we are so far above the animals, we can easily take this is a pass. “Nurturing “is commonly perceived as a beneficial, loving, and mothering environment. 

    What if you are nurtured by a bunch of egotistical jerks. As a product of that environment, would you not become an egotistical jerk as well? And by the “Nurture” that you have been shaped, an egotistical jerk would never think himself as one. At least the scorpion knew who he was. 

    Peace. 

    “Biggest Kid on the Block”, guest blogger, USMC combat Veteran. 

    I am humbled to to have my first guest writer on my blog. Even more so, I am honored that he is a fellow Marine, willing to share his point of view. A point of view from a vantage point of view, few can say they have experienced. To fully appreciate his perspective, approximately 7% of the US population have served in the Military. Around .08% of that is in the US Marines. One final statistic, The Marine Corps (including the Reserves) make up only 10 percent of the total Dept. of Defense force, experience 23 percent of the combat related deaths. Myself, I am a Aviation “In the rear with the Gear” Marine Veteran with much respect to my Marine Brother. 

    As a nation we are in an uproar if someone takes a knee or burns a flag. Want to give back to a Vet? Here is your chance, take a few moments and listen. In return he would love to hear your thoughts as well. Semper Fi Brother. -Goroyboy 

    It is hard for us to look at ourselves. As people, we don’t always get along with everyone, and it’s generally their fault. Trying to look at our situation from the outside is unnatural – we made these decisions, how could they be wrong? How could I be the source of my interpersonal issues?
    The same issues apply to our country. How can we see from the perspective of others? How do we get in the shoes of a Pakistani citizen observing the war in Afghanistan? The North Korean civilian who was born there, and wants to live peacefully? How do we really understand the perspective of those directly involved but not on our side, or indirectly involved and observing? Being a nation with an understanding of others and empathy will not only reduce the world’s issues with us, it will provide our children the role model that they need. Enemies become friends, or at least associates.

    This is even more difficult than looking at our people issues described in the first paragraph. In international affairs, we don’t know the other parties involved, and there are many self-proclaimed “experts” who have an agenda, and want to sway the masses. Statistics and “facts” are provided to sway us, causing uninformed or poorly informed decisions to feel well researched and thought out.

    We’ve all met people that have nothing to prove to anyone. Walking away from an unnecessary confrontation is easy for them. They don’t need to show you that they’re tough or smart or kind – they’re just going to live how they do, and let others form decisions on their character based upon their actions. I believe our nation should conduct itself in the same way. We should never puff our chest out – we don’t need to. We have a booming economy, limitless food, a powerful military, and countless other programs and advantages. Why are we the guy that has everything going for him, and still has everything to prove? We are the biggest guy at the party, but still can’t back down from a fight if it’s offered. What does a fight do for the people?

    The Korean Conflict ended (kind of), and we stayed there with thousands of Army troops. WWII ended, and we left troops in Italy, Spain, Germany, Japan, and many other stations. Again, get in their shoes…how would we feel if other troops were in our land? If Japan had a military base in Norfolk, VA? Or if Germany had a massive base just across the border in Canada, and did combat drills on our border? We have highly deadly warriors in South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia…I don’t know about Australia and Antarctica, but I wouldn’t be surprised. Is this necessary? Do we need the option to conduct quick strikes all around the world? Is this a job that we could leave to NATO troops? Would reducing our worldwide presence reduce us as a worldwide target? I know we think we’re protecting everyone and doing everything we do with nothing but altruistic motives…are we sure?

    As a US Marine veteran of multiple deployments to theaters of combat, I can tell you first hand that armed conflict is a bad thing. There is a time for it – when diplomacy has FAILED. If you are always the first to strike, then maybe it’s time to ask yourself if you are the aggressor or the protector. I want our military to be known as a sleeping giant, not a bully. I want to see us develop fair international policies, and apply them to ourselves in the same way we apply them to others. If we are willing to kill people in other nations due to our perception of events taking place in the world, we must see that other nations will view that as acceptable to do unto us. I want our nation’s kids to grow up without fear of an attack for which we blame others, but which others view as a strike to protect themselves. My idea of patriotism differs from most of my friends and colleagues these days. Patriotism is creating the right future for our next generation, not dominating economically and militarily.

    Even if you disagree, thank you for taking a few minutes to be in my shoes and hear my perspective. If yours is different, tell me, and I will listen. I will not know going into it that I’m right and you’re wrong. I will listen, and maybe change. I hope we can all do the same. 

    Fear No Evil by Raymond Roy. #writephoto

    Shackled to a 4×4 beam.  Shoulders ached. 12 hours earlier, The Pharisees had returned a verdict of guilty. Guilty of not following doctrine. For daring to question ritualistic antiquited practices. Immediately, they strapped the timber behind my neck and across my shoulders sent me off into the desert. Feet raw, and head throbbing, I approached what seemed a porthole, I could see a green valley on the other side. You could hear the bubbling sound of a stream. Just to the left of the entryway, a prominent hieroglyph was etched. “With burdens of the world, no man shall pass and enter
    There was no way the large timber would pass through the porthole. Digging deep, I proceeded to bang the beam against the granite walls. Skin rubbed raw, freshly burst blisters stinging from salty sweat and blood. One final thrust and I was free. Finding my balance, I reapproached the portal and dusted away the remaining portion of the hieroglyph.  “With burdens of the world, no man shall pass and enter into the valley of the shadow of death. “


    Written for Sue Vincent’s  Photo prompt  #writephoto Special thanks to Sue for Hosting! 

    “It’s Been Awhile” by Raymond Roy


    It’s been a while since I was on my knees….

    Just as I thought the world is only getting colder,
    Bowing my head, I felt the weight of the world off my shoulders. 

    It reminded me humility waits patiently, but opens the door on bended knee,

    as thankfulness, comes naturally. 
    Clasped hands pressed together in this place

    Reminded me to seek, a state of grace. 
    As I finished, 

    I had a stubborn smile as I remembered, it had been a while……..It’s been a while since I was on my knees. 

    Peace. 

    Stardust 

    As I sit in the quiet of the morning drinking tea, looking out at the snow, I am humbled and simply amazed of the many blessings I have been given. Yes, given. I used this term not as one of entitlement but as one of appreciation. The universe has seen fit to be kind enough to provide me with a plethora of life lessons including this particular one of me sitting quietly taking a personal inventory. 
    Most are familiar with the Butterfly effect where, if a butterfly in South America flutters its wings this slight disturbance in the air can set off a chain of events culminating to something as big as a hurricane.  

    Recently the colliding of two black holes and the gravitational waves created in space was hailed by the scientific community. It’s is estimated that the total effect of these waves on the earth was its shifting less than the thickness of one atom. One atom! 

    A human my size is made up of approximately 9 billion billion billion(that’s 27 zeroes) of the universe’s atoms.  While impressive in number, in the absence of a soul, all humans atoms are nothing more than stardust. It seems only fair that while we are occupying these stardust atoms, we should put them to good use.

    One of my favorite expressions is that when you are  filled with love and at peace with the universe, you “shine”. Take a moment and consciously think of every atom of your being. Now be still and know how special of a being you are. By the very fact that you know that love exists, makes you worthy of love. 

    May this simple message be an ember unto your soul that sparks a cataclysmic reaction of wellbeing that you luminesce with the knowledge that you are a unique stardust Masterpiece shaped by the hand of God, brought to life by a whisp of his breath. Amen. 

    “When you love you should not say,

    “God is in my heart,” but rather,

    I am in the heart of God.””-  Kahlil Gibran