So He Returned

So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. 

—Luke 15:20

I am fascinated by the night sky. 

Space has always intrigued me. 

When I was about nine years old, I remember doing a science class demonstration of how the planets revolved around the sun. 

Tonight, my thoughts turned to Pluto–

the farthest planet from the sun. 

I also thought of Mercury–the closest planet to the sun. 

I decided to do a little research on the two. 

The side of Mercury facing the sun gets a bit warm. 

800.6 degrees Fahrenheit. 

That makes sense because it’s close to the sun, which is its source of heat. 

Then there’s Pluto. 

Lonely Pluto. 

It is so very far from the sun. 

Just how cold does it get on Pluto?

About -380.2 degrees Fahrenheit. 

380 below zero?

It’s hard to even comprehend how cold that is. 

Cold, of course, being the absence of warmth. 

God is our source of life. 

God placed the planets in space just as He wanted them to be–some close to the sun, others farther away. The planets had no choice in the matter. 

We, however, choose to stay close to God or to drift away. 

Sometimes, we even choose to run away. 

Where does that find us, then?

When we run from God, we find ourselves farther and farther away from the only thing that matters–our relationship with Him. 

Cold and lonely, isolated and barren, we end up in a place we never planned to be. 

If we had chosen to draw closer to God–our source of life–the warmth of His presence would permeate every aspect of our being. 

God calls us. 

He wants us to be close. 

It’s our decision. 

Unlike planets, we can change our minds. 

If we find ourselves far away from God, we can turn around and go back. 

Like the story of the prodigal son in Luke , chapter 15, God is waiting for us to return home to find His love and forgiveness. 

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