Father is the wealthiest business owner around these parts. His investments are as diverse as you can imagine. He has investments in Agriculture, solid minerals, livestock, and so on. The list goes on and on. Father has just about a stake in everythi...
Father is the wealthiest business owner around these parts. His investments are as diverse as you can imagine. He has investments in Agriculture, solid minerals, livestock, and so on. The list goes on and on. Father has just about a stake in everything. His real passion however is raising Entrepreneurs. I never considered it a viable investment portfolio. Things are stable. People are variable. A kilo of barley is a kilo of barley everywhere. Not so with people. Not so at all.
Father trained my big brother and me in the very best schools. We did very well too. I graduated from Business School with an MBA and joined the family conglomerate two years after my big brother. My biggest strength has been my proactive approach. That has been my brother’s biggest weakness. He just sits and does just what he is asked to do. You never met a more reactive fellow! I take initiative. I love leading. And I never waited for Father to take all the decisions. I went after opportunities and nailed them square!
Well, I got fed up with the house and Father’s larger than life presence and decided to strike out on my own. I had been monitoring the commodities market way out in the West for some time. It was juicy. I figured I could buy up some grains, store them and sell them off in about six months. My profits would equal my capital! It was huge, trust me.
So I walk up to Father and tell him my plans. He agrees. We three each had a 33% stake in the family business. Father transferred cash into my account. Mother was so quiet she looked like a statue. I had to look away from her so I wouldn’t lose my courage. By and by I went on my way.
I travelled far West and settled down. I soon got down to business and started buying up grains. I guess I was in too much of a rush. I bought up everything I laid eyes on. I was acting like I had no business acumen. I spent so much the people of the West revered me above God. I was so happy I almost forgot home. I threw a few parties here and there and spent some money getting by. A man’s got to live big if he’s got the means. And I had more means than you could ever think of. What did it matter if I spent a huge chunk having fun? I was going to get so much more after selling off my grains.
I had been storing grains for more than five months and I was going to begin selling in less than a month. I was already running out of cash and couldn’t wait for the rains that would mark the beginning of the planting season. That would be the time for sales. It had been a long and hot dry season. The sun scorched and burned. Even shadows seemed muted by the heat. They seemed to walk with a little less dignity than before. It was terrible.
So, I wake up in the middle of a fine (but hot) afternoon to wails of the fire service sirens. I guessed a large house was on fire judging from the number of trucks rushing along. When I got the news it was the storage houses on the plains, I nearly died. My grains were so dry they had no problem contributing to the fire. The investigation as to the actual cause is still ongoing. A lot of hand pointing was going on, but what did it matter? I had lost all my grains.
Quickly, I sold off some properties and planted some plantations. Then I threw in the money I had left in some shares. I was hoping to recoup some losses then continue with storing grains for sale. And by jolly, that year turned out the hottest in recorded history! My crops died, all died. And by the way, that was also the year of the Greater Depression. My stocks went under. Just like nail goes under water. More like bread in water. Everything was lost.
Parents committed suicide and children dropped out of schools. It was terrible. Everyone in the West was affected. I was devastated because I was penniless. Rather than live off alcohol complaining what a hard lot I had, I got a job. Jobs were scarce. A man had to do anything to survive. I got a job as a stable hand. I doubled as house keeper and errand boy. My pay was worse than meagre. I did it all for a place in the stable to escape the scorching moon at night. Food? Not a chance. It was precious commodity. I kept wishing I could go back and take better decisions. I knew too much to have allowed myself be so extravagant and careless. But wishes aren’t horses.
One day, it hit me! That nagging in my heart wasn’t just my regrets. I missed home. I missed Father and Mother and I wanted to see them again. I wasn’t interested in making a name for myself anymore. My longing was to see them every single day for the rest of my life. So, I set off for home. I was going to apply for any job in one of Father’s businesses. I would take the lowest pay if it meant a chance to see my family again.
After a very long journey on foot, I wasn’t even getting any closer to the Home Country. I was dead exhausted. I couldn’t recognize myself at the stream I stopped at for a drink. I knew nobody would recognize me as well. A little rest and I decided to walk a while before retiring. I knew I would never get home. The journey was way too long. Just a few steps on and I nearly didn’t see them swoop on me! Father and Mother! They never went away from the Home Country. And they never ran. But here they were: away from the home country and running like excited little kids. They even recognized me. For want of words I wept out my eyes. They had come for “me”. I was home.
Mother had clothes packed for me in the car. Out came a new suit for the journey home. And while I crying my apology, Father gave me the family ring he and my big brother wore. I asked for the least paying job he could offer. He gave me his share of the family wealth! Father didn’t cancel my debt. He paid it with his portion. Then he gave me his place at the head of the company. Mother held me and let me feel her love. She wanted me to understand they longed to show me love, that they were glad they could give everything for me. I looked at Father and saw Love. Love paid my debts, brought me back, made me love more than ever before, and gave me a place among the great.
I am not the prodigal son. He died back in the West. I am the son Love brought home. Luke 15: 11 – 24.