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One of the funniest television series, “Everybody Loves Raymond,” was seen by millions during 1996 — 2005 featuring a cast of family characters.

During the nine years “Everybody Loves Raymond” television series aired, our attention was directed to one or more colorful and cute family members, including Marie and Frank as parents of Raymond, Michael and Geoffrey, twin sons of Debra and Raymond.

The show script would remind us, the main character was Raymond Barone.

“Everybody Loves Raymond” communicated everyday family situations and made us laugh at ourselves just a bit.

Parables Jesus told in the New Testament communicated “earthly situations” with important “heavenly meanings.”

The parable found in Luke 15:11-32 known as “Prodigal Son” told by Jesus is an “earthly situation” about an earthly father to help us understand our Heavenly Father.

Reading this parable, our attention is torn between colorful characters including the father, older son and younger son. While most of us can relate to the younger son, the main character is the father.

In this parable, the younger of two sons demanded his inheritance (something he did not deserve) by saying to his father…”give me my share of the estate!”

Although, the young son was undeserving (his father was still alive), the father granted his request of “give me” my inheritance.

The young son took his undeserved inheritance and spent wildly on meaningless worldly things only to find himself in a situation of hopelessness, depressed, alone, broke and hungry.

Finally the young son “came to his senses.” He realized his prideful and disrespectful attitude toward his father of “give me” now must be replaced with an attitude of humbleness of “make me like one of your servants.” He realized he needed to return home to his father.

As the young son was walking toward his father’s home, his father did something unthinkable. He saw his young son walking at a distance and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, threw his arms around him welcoming him back to the family.

We ask our Father in Heaven to “give us this or that”…material things, knowing we may not deserve what we are asking for.

Our Heavenly Father may give us what we ask for, and just like the young son, we make a mess of things.

Today, if we are in a situation like the “Prodigal Son,” realizing we have made a mess of things in life and now experiencing hopelessness, loneliness and depression, we may need to (come to our senses) by rethinking what we are asking for in our prayers.

This is an encouragement to adjust our prayer attitude from “give me” to “make me.”

Replace “give me” material things to “make me” a servant or “make my” life reflective of Jesus Christ.

Just like the Prodigal Son, if we change our hearts and attitudes from “give me” to “make me,” our Father in Heaven will do the unthinkable. With open arms He will welcome us back to the Family of God.

In My Life, there are times I am more like this young son than I care to admit.

DENNIS R. HIXSON OF FAYETTEVILLE IS A HUSBAND, FATHER, TEACHER, BUSINESS LEADER, AUTHOR AND MENTOR. CURRENTLY HE TEACHES ADULT BIBLE CLASSES AT PRAIRIE GROVE CHRISTIAN CHURCH AND FAYETTEVILLE SALVATION ARMY. SEND COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS TO: [email protected]

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