The familiar parable of the prodigal son is one that leads me to question my own alignment with the other son. Is he wrong to resent the treatment of his brother? Are jealousy and envy appropriate reactions?
This son is also celebrated, but his eyes are not opened to the daily “celebration.” Consider the imprisoned person who does not see a field of flowers or a sunset, who rejoices in God’s creation when released, while the free person has the opportunity to see and feel and touch and experience every day, but does not rejoice in the daily blessings. Are we the son who complains because we are not lauded over?
My fear of missing out can easily lead to resentment or envy. In this age of social media, it’s easy to scroll through posted pictures showing people on a secluded beach or at a fancy restaurant or surrounded by family and friends — all smiling bright smiles that say “we have it all!” and captioned with
#livingmybestlife — and feel “less than” or left out.
Am I not recognizing all that I am experiencing? This does not mean just posting pictures, but to pause to recognize how blessed I am to see a beautiful sunset, to walk by a shop filled with flowers, to assist a struggling person on the street and be thanked with a heartfelt “God bless you!” — blessings we have in our daily lives. How can we continually recognize them and thank God for them and realize that we are not missing out, but missing “in” — missing the blessings right in front of us, the celebration God gives us. As the father tells his son — and God tells us — “You are always with me, and everything I have is yours.” Truly