Simply put, I am prone to wander.
And I think, deep down, in our core's every single one of us indeed a prodigal child of God. It doesn't matter how much we want to be perfect. We aren't. We all stray.
Amazing, isn't it, though, that proverbially, every single time we stray, we are able to return home, and let the fatted calf be killed in our honor. Our Savior's sacrifice allows us to celebrate the little returns home, when humble ourselves enough to admit that we've screwed up.
I can't pretend that maybe it would be better if I were the older son, my only transgression being righteous indignation at the sins of another, perhaps...
But I am not. I will never be that good. Not in this life, not without the inheritance Christ has promised.
It's pretty easy to assume that is the better course. Perfection is the goal, right?
Turns out though, that I don't actually WANT to be that older brother. Nope. Not really anyway.
What I think is more important, is to be humble, to be determined to get back home again, even if we wander. I think when we're at our lowest, wallowing with pigs, that we most want to find the light.
As the hymn, "Come Thou Fount" says,
"Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God, I love.
Here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above"
If we give our hearts to Christ, then even when we wander a bit, even if we get very very far off course, leave the God we love so dearly, we are never too far to come home. Even if we willingly rebel. We can still come home. It's not too late. Ever.
Think of Alma the Younger. He was so far off the path, that he took great glee in leading others purposefully AWAY from God. That's SUPER bad. You would have to try to be that bad.
And yet, through Christ's atonement, Alma received forgiveness! Despite what he had done, his heart ultimately was sealed in Christ's courts above.
As it says, in Luke 15:32, "It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found."
We are all lost, we are all dead, and made alive again, over and over and over through Christ. Each time we turn to Him and say, "I screwed up again, same as last time, and I'm really sorry. I really do want to be better," we're made alive, we're saved, over and over.
I am the prodigal daughter of a kind, benevolent Father who simply wants me to come home.
I am the prodigal sister of a Savior who's love and sacrifice are so deep and infinite that it is beyond comprehension.
And it turns out, that I'm okay with that. Me and my imperfections will just have to try harder tomorrow to return home.
Please, dear friend, don't let the fact that you too are prone to wander, that you might have weakness that you wish you didn't, or even sins that you kind of like, keep you from home. Don't give up. Keep on heading toward home.
It'll be worth it.