Author Tim Keller identified a perspective in his book, The Prodigal God, www.theprodigalgod.com, pertinent to many of us in the American Baby Boomer generation. The perspective is each of us, whether religious or irreligious has the need to change into someone new. His book actually focuses on the ELDER brother, the moralistic, do the right thing brother. This brother becomes angry and bitter, actually believing because he did right he is entitled to a good life. This brother is more “lost” than the brother who wandered off, squandered his father’s property, and seeks redemption. The elder brother refused to attend the feast given by the father upon his younger brothers return. The elder brother thought his younger brother owed him back for the inheritance squandered. In other words, the elder brother thought he was God and did not need to pursue his own salvation.
Adapting to circumstances and being unrelenting in our pursuit of service to others seem key character traits of those who age well. This last statement is an integral part of understanding the prodigal son parable. As I think about the significant volume of Baby Boomers displaced by recent economic events (and many who wished they were displaced) I think this parable has significant value as we approach the second half/one-third of our lives. We can begin the metamorphosis now.