Food for Thought: Temptations of the prodigal son (with audio)


For a long time, the prodigal son was eating the husks that the swine refused. Persecuted by want that the husks never seemed to satisfy, he suddenly remembered his Father’s House. A fervent yearning arose within to journey there, and thus humbly petition his Father for forgiveness of his transgressions, so he might then mercifully partake of the sumptuous feast there which alone eternally satisfies. Inspirited with aspiration, he gazed at the husks in his hands and moved to swiftly discard them as he took a step toward his Father’s House.

But within a few paces, he paused and stared back covetously at the husks in reminiscence—revealing he was still disposed to the chaff, despite his new yearning for ascent. A conflict arose between his continuing the journey to his Father’s House and the craving to taste the chaff once more, a tension that played tug-of-war with his commitment and thus gradually cooled his enthusiasm, causing him to dither, to hesitate instead of moving apace. He struggled with himself. Oh, the feast… but oh, the chaff!

This conflict within the soul to travel one direction upward, but is induced through its unsettled desires to maintain a foothold in the lower one, is the activity of temptation. The hapless seeking for permanent satisfaction in the impermanent gratification. It is this battle each must win as a prerequisite for his true spiritual ascent, the duel which will otherwise keep him fettered and slowly consume all remaining energy to travel, i.e. when through bindings of the soul and one-sided earthly pursuits he no longer has the interest or will for a spiritual upswing back to the heights.

But, in all temptation: the intensity of the appeal of earthly pleasures is always equal to the degree of unclarified desires in the soul.

Man today stands in the midst of this struggle in varying forms; in the battle for the inner liberation of the spirit. Each must make haste, for on the last stretch of the path leading to the Father’s House there is an impassable moat over which a drawbridge was lowered long ago. But the time for this has expired, for the Father of the House has suddenly ordered the guards to commence raising the drawbridge. So now the whole host of prodigal sons still fiercely battling their attachments must make haste to free themselves and cleave asunder all bindings, so they can journey and quickly cross the bridge before the gulf becomes insurmountable. Abundant is the help still available to the one committed to liberating himself and redoubling his exertion, but there is no delaying the pace of the lifting drawbridge by Order of the Father. Henceforth each must decide: stay or go, either-or, rise or fall…for the clock is ticking, and the opportunity for crossing is rapidly diminishing.

And in this fateful decision lies the final judgement for each.

~Ikenna Q. Ezealah

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