In Luke’s Gospel we find the parable of the prodigal son, a story Jesus told about a young man who wanted to get out of his father’s house. He said to his father, in effect, “I’m out of here. I’m going to go out and do what I want to. Just give me my cut of the inheritance.”
This son went out and blew all his money and ended up in rags, hanging out with a bunch of pigs. But one day he came to his senses and decided to return home.
It’s worth noting that everything the prodigal was looking for already could be found in his father’s house. Judging from his actions, he wanted nice clothes and great food, and he wanted to party.
What did he get when he finally went back home? He got what he was looking for. The first thing his father did was tell his servants to bring out the best robe and put it on him. His father also said, “Kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life” (Luke 15:23–24).
In the same way, everything we need in life is found in a relationship with God. However, we can discover this the easy way or the hard way. Someone might say, “All I want to do is have some fun. And I have the feeling that I’m not the only one.” They will find out the truth the hard way. It isn’t because I said it but because God says it. And He says it for our own good.
Any happiness this world might offer will be a dead-end street, because once you’ve had the real thing, cheap imitations never will suffice.