Day 290 taking a look at the brother of the “prodigal son” and squatters rights….

Like many in the US, perhaps in some way as a result of the pandemic, I am experiencing a churning of jobs. I find a good job and then bump into someone, one person only always, who is “territorial” declaring how long they have been there at the job.  I absolutely respect experience and longevity. I am 67 years old. It took me a long time to get here and the life experiences I have gathered like a rolling stone are of exquisite importance to my wellbeing and the future of the human race on planet earth…. as long as it holds out. So, when I am onboarding a new job, I am for sure carrying a reverence for the person who found their way to this haven before me and have made a life for themselves there finding safety and happiness.  I want to see how that happened and emulate it. But I am finding without exception so far, to my dismay, that there is one person in each of my “safe harbors” that got there first, have been there for a length of time, and take it upon themselves to make sure no one else gets in, well unless the newbie assumes the position and does proper obeisance to their power by longevity. Squatters’ rights.  I have never said or implied anything negative toward them, but I am an offense just by showing up.  

As I sit this morning in my quite time contemplating this dilemma trying to figure out how to deal with it, so I do not loose yet another dream job that at one time made me very happy and afforded me a portion of safety.  Then it hit me like a thunder bolt. I experienced it like I was an actor in a play…….  it was like I was the “prodigal son” coming into the front yard of dad’s estate and dad running out to him with his arms open wide.  Come in. Come in. We are so happy you are here. 

But, in the wings watching was the other brother.  Fear seized him taking over his very breath….. 

It was not like anything I had heard in “church” being taught from the pulpit about the story of the prodigal son.   The other brother had “found” this safe harbor first and no one was going to take it away from him. This new guy represented change to his perfect world, and he could not allow that. So, either the newbie became a chameleon to and in complete servitude to the one who had been there _____________ many years, that person had to go! No matter how long it takes or how much abuse they have to inflict that one has to go.  Servitude or out. 

Fast forward a few hours and the newbie has new access to “dad” that the other brother had never had, never gained, never earned in all his years there.  That added insult to injury.  I felt the devastation of the other brother…. I felt the disappointment of the years of service waiting for the accesses the newbie gained so easily and without apparent merit other than he showed up. Dad sets a feast for the newbie, spending time with the newbie and introducing him around. 

When all of that was over, dad asks the other brother to clean up after the newbie. There were messes around that he had made the other brother had never stepped into, but now he was required by dad to clean up the messes made by this newbie. Only accolade was a passing, the other brother can do it. He is very good.

I have no answers for this. The “prodigal son-newbie” has no idea it is going on. He has no experience or information that would give him a heads up the very supplies he needs to succeed at this new safe haven was a thorn in the side of the ones who have come before him. He is innocent of any wrongdoing. He is just trying to survive like anyone else.  But the other brother will do everything they can to get rid of the “prodigal son” and then walk into the new accesses and avenues dad opened up to him, effectively making the life of the other brother better.  And who cares about the “prodigal son”.  He obviously was sinning somehow, or he would have made it into this safe harbor years ago like the other brother did. Getting shoved out of the safe harbor to drown in the sea was sad but just a consequence of his unfortunate arrival to the safe harbor …… late.  Or at least “later” than the other brother.

I wish this were not a lesson in the Bible I for some reason have to gain full meaning and understanding for.  Perhaps I can show some kindness to someone who has just suffered this boomerang effect in their lives and face certain destruction because of it for no wrong they did.  I have no idea why I needed this quiver in my arsenal.     But…..  I get it now. I can only hope The Lord GOD, Creator GOD, the ONE will see and save the “prodigal son-johnny come lately” because it will take a miracle…….



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