During a recent webinar I gave via Zoom, I told a story that has been in my head for years. It was inspired by the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Many of you will recall the lesson taught by Jesus about a young man who runs away from home, leaving his brother to do all the work. He enjoys a time of "loose living" until he runs out of his father's money and resorts to wretched menial labor. Wisening up, he returns home to a relieved father who throws a big feast to celebrate his son's return.
My story, which I have called "The Morning After", goes something like this: at the crack of dawn, the father knocks on the son's door. The son groans from a hangover and a belly still stuffed from veal. Lovingly but firmly the father insists, "Son, I'm glad you're back; now get up and help your brother. We're happy you're home now, but there is work to do. Your mother and I will always love you but those cows won't milk themselves."
I don't know how your Valentine's Day was. Perhaps romantic or routine, alone or with someone you love. Maybe you exchanged texts or phone calls with a loved one or three.
The truth about love is that it's kinda fake if it doesn't really last. Junk food delights for a while, but there is no nutrition.
The sincerity of love or loyalty is in the follow-up- it's being able to sustain the momentum, mean what you said (in a card or through a kiss) and not give up. Even if you fail at times (and who doesn't), the beauty of this kind of love is that it is new every day.
Happy Valentine's Day plus one!