Summary: Present three keys to rekindling the attitude of gratitude using the lesson lean from the elder brother of the prodigal son.
Rekindling the Attitude of Gratitude
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thess. 5:16-18)
A salesman got lost in a rural area and stopped at a farm to get directions. As he was talking to the farmer he noticed a pig with a wooden leg. "How did the pig get a wooden leg?" he asked the farmer.
"Well," said the farmer, "that is a very special pig. One night not too long ago we had a fire start in the barn. Well, sir, that pig set up a great squealing that woke everyone, and by the time we got there he had herded all the other animals out of the barn and saved every one of them."
"So that’s how he hurt his leg?" asked the salesman.
"Oh no," said the farmer. "He was fine after that, though a while later I was in the woods out back and a bear attacked me. Well, sir, that pig was near by and he came running and set on that bear and chased him off. Saved me for sure."
"So the bear injured his leg then," said the salesman.
"Oh no. He came away without a scratch from that, though a few days later my tractor turned over in a ditch and I was knocked unconscious. Well, that pig dove into the ditch and pulled me out before I drowned."
"So he hurt his leg then?" asked the salesman.
"Oh no," said the farmer.
"So how did he get the wooden leg?" the salesman asked.
"Well," the farmer told him, "A pig like that, you don’t want to eat all at once."
What a thankful farmer!
There was a young man working in the fields and came home after calling it a day. From a distance, he heard noises coming out of the house, and as he entered the gate he saw people dancing and singing, and having a party. “What’s going on?” he asked on of the servants. And the servant told him, “Your brother has come home! So your father killed the calf that we have been fattening to celebrate your brother’s coming home safely.”
I believe you all know the beginning of this story—the well-known Story of the Prodigal Son. When the great American storyteller Mark Twain was asked, “Who do you think is the best storyteller every lived?” Mark twain answered, “Jesus Christ.” “Then which story is the greatest story every told?” He replied, “The Story of the Prodigal Son.”
It is about this father who has two sons. One day, the younger son asked his father to give him his share of the inheritance because he couldn’t wait until his father died in order to get it. The father might have tried many ways to dissuade him without success, so he gave him what he wanted. A few days later, the son packed up all his belongings and left home for a distant land, and there he wasted his money on wild living.
Soon he ran out of money and had no food to eat. He persuaded a local farmer to give him a job to feed his pigs. Looking at the pods—the pig food—in his hand, he was about to eat it because he was so hungry. Then he came to his senses. He said to himself, ‘In my father’s house, even the servants have more than enough to eat. And now I am dying of hunger.” I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired man.” ’
So he returned home to his father. The Bible says, “And while he was still a long distance away, his father saw him coming.” Imagine this scene; this father must have been waiting in front of the house everyday looking down the street hoping his son would come home. Only the parents would understand this feeling; you know that your child has abandoned you and left you for good, but you still expect him to come home.
Look at this scene, the Bible says, “Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’
“But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger, and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening in the pen. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.