Ted Williams and the Prodigal Son’s Brother

I am happy for Ted Williams; really I am. It’s a modern day prodigal son story.  I am just having a hard time with the making him a celebrity part.  I can’t help but look at this story from the other side.   Don’t get me wrong, I am glad he is back on his feet and clean and sober.  Everyone deserves  a second chance.  Unfortunately, from what I have experienced in dealing with those with addictions, this is probably his 10,000 chance. I am sure his wife and kids, if he had any, gave him the first 2000 chances, and who knows who gave him the rest.  And, I have no doubt that he is the  answer to his mother’s prayers; and I am happy for her too.  Redemption and repentance are the cornerstone of my faith.  The problem is, I have always identified with the prodigal son’s brother.  Why throw the party for the one who messed up? Why don’t we celebrate the responsible ones? What about those who were caught up in the destruction of his addictions all those years before he got sober?  Maybe they should be the celebrities.  Maybe he has a son or daughter who has had to fight everyday to forgive their dad for all the hurt and pain, and yet still has decided to make good life choices…maybe they should be on the Today Show.  How about the ex wife who had to fix all the messes and stay strong for her kids and work her butt off to keep a roof over her head?  Shouldn’t she be the one being interviewed on how she managed to rise above her circumstances? And if she is interviewed, couldn’t it be on the same day that Ryan Reynolds is a guest so she could  meet the hottest man on the planet? Obviously this is all a little to close to home for me. But, I do think there is a lesson to be learned here.  This guy ( who now I cannot find his name to give him proper credit and will as soon as I find it again)said it better than I could….

“This is the stern lesson to learn from the prodigal son: Some things cannot be undone, although they can be forgiven.
If the prodigal is to have a place of wealth like the one he squandered in riotous living, he will have to EARN it himself!
There are mistakes that tears cannot undo. Don’t make them. Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t have another yesterday. You can’t unscramble eggs.  The greatest joy is to walk with the Lord and neither fall to the right nor to the left. Receive your inheritance, stand in your lot, and receive your portion.
Be the faithful son, but don’t get bitter when others fail the Father…you bring Him joy in faithfulness in the same way he rejoices over their repentance.

So, all that to say…  I’m going to be happy for those who get back on their feet and get a new start (and will watch to see that they don’t blow this chance), I’m going to know that somewhere there are people who have suffered unchangeable hurts because of the prodigal’s poor choices,  and I’m going to re read the parable of the prodigal son and try to be a little less like the older brother.


About splitpease

I am a mom of three teenage boys who used to be a teacher, who became a personal trainer, who had to sell my share of a personal training studio, who had to take a job running a swim and racquet club, who hopes to one day be able to do what I love and still keep a roof over my head.
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5 Responses to Ted Williams and the Prodigal Son’s Brother

  1. Kim says:

    Great blog Suzi, and, oh, so true. While I am very happy for Ted’s sobriety and desire to make a better life for himself, I am concerned about all the attention he is receiving. The people that have good intentions to help him just happen to be exploiting his celebrity. While Ted said he will surround himself with people to “keep him in check” and admits he gives God credit for this new chance at new life, there is unfathomable pressure on this vulnerable guy. This first words his Mom uttered to him after not having spoken to him in over a decade were “Don’t disappoint me again.” Unfortunately, we HAVE had opportunities to see those people who are kin to prodigals; on Oprah, Dr. Phil, and all the other Talk Shows out there. And, while I agree with your point about celebrating THEM and what they’ve been through, I believe the people who are doing the right thing have received their reward by being able to live a faithful, productive life in spite of all the pain and suffering they’ve been through. I once did a presentation on “Forgive and Remember.” We must forgive others or it will do more damage to us than to them, but we can and must remember and hold them accountable for their poor choices. So, I think it’s important to try and “do the right thing” and “take it one day at a time” and try to be the faithful one. And, in doing so, as hard as it can be at times, we must hold on to God’s promise of his faithfulness to us. I’ll be cheering for Ted and praying that he will be successful, and in doing so, I’ll hope that someone out there will be cheering and praying for me.

  2. beachmomof2 says:

    Very astute observation. As hard as it would be to be the one suffering from another’s addictions,neither would I want to be the addicted one, who has a next to nothing chance of having hope for real change, who hesitates to even express hope to loved ones, who doesn’t even understand why he does what he does, over and over again. That’s a darkness no one should have to endure, personally or vicariously. It’s a continual question for me: how does God get people to the point of real change, and how can we help each other get there?
    I don’t know everything you went through, Suzi, but you should be praised for your deep love and commitment to your boys. I pray you can sense God with you at all the turns in your journey. And I’ll join you in trying to be a little less like the older brother (we all have some of him in us!) Thank God He doesn’t give us what he truly owes us (without grace;) we wouldn’t be happy with that either!

  3. Ian Webster says:

    Thanks for this post. You have a lot to give and you do so gently.
    I have taken the liberty of inculding your picture on my “prodigal’s older brother” post. If that’s not good, please shout and I’ll take it off.

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