Reading the Prodigal Son story again this morning (Luke 15:11-32), tempered by something else read earlier, I saw the parable through a different lens and it occurred to me that in that parable there is a lesson that had previously escaped me. Based on the facts given, the family itself was apparently affluent. It was not until the younger son took his inheritance and “wasted his substance with riotous living” that he “came to himself” (in some translations, “came to his senses”) and realized the value of what he had left behind. Similarly, the father, did not realize what he had in the prodigal son until he lost him. It was only in their loss that the father and prodigal son could realize the value of what they lost – yet still had. The older son remained blind to that as he had not (at least in his mind) sustained any loss.
All that to say that sometimes, to borrow from Joni Mitchell, “you don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone.” Perhaps that is one of the issues with having much – it makes it difficult to fully appreciate all you have.